Though described as “normal” by those who knew him, CNN reports that 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had been declared “unfit to work” on the day officials believe he deliberately guided Germanwings Flight 9525 into a mountain in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
New details have emerged in the ongoing investigation, as authorities work to piece together what led to the plane’s destruction Tuesday. The French prosecutor in the case has said voice recordings and other flight data suggest Lubitz intended to crash the plane. He was alone in the cockpit during the eight-minute descent and ignored the pilot’s demands to be let back in.
The only sounds, CNN reported, were those of “pounding on the cockpit door, Lubitz’s steady breathing and, eventually, screaming passengers.”
Lubitz sought treatment for unspecified vision problems, officials told The New York Times in a Saturday report.
Prosecutors said Friday that recent medical notes were found in Lubitz’s apartment in Dusseldorg, Germany, which said he wasn’t fit to work. Some had been torn up and thrown away, according to multiple reports; and officials believe Lubitz was hiding his medical problems from his employer.
No confession was found, “nor was there any evidence of a political or religious background to what happened,” prosecutors said.
More specific details about Lubitz’s medical history were not immediately released. But the Düsseldorf University Hospital said Friday that it had evaluated Lubitz as recently as March 10 – though it had not treated him for depression, according to CNN.
Luibtz was treated for a “serious depressive episode” about six years ago, according to Reuters, and spent more than a year in psychiatric treatment. Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings, told CNN that Lubitz passed medical and psychological testing when he was hired in 2013.
In an interview with CNN, a family member for the first time identified the flight’s pilot as Patrick Sondenheimer. Three Americans also died in the crash: Yvonne Selke; her daughter, Emily; and Robert Calvo.
Jean Pierre Michel, the lead French investigator, said interviews will continue and that no scenario has been ruled out, not even mechanical failure.
“We do not have the necessary evidence,” he said, according to CNN.
A previous employer told the Times that Lubitz was “reliable and punctual.”Klaus Radke, an official at the club where Lubitz learned to fly gliders, remembered him as having grown to be confident and helpful.
“When I saw him as an adult compared to a youth, I thought, ‘He really amounted to something,’ ” Radke said.
Still there are questions.
“I’m not a doctor,” Radke said. “For me he was normal.”