April 03, 2015 02:50 PM

Andreas Lubitz was the nice guy from down the road, as generous with a smiling “Hallo!” as he was with advice for others looking to turn a love of flying into a career.

“I want to become a pilot too, and Andreas was super nice, offering me a lot of details about it,” Konstantin Keidel, 20, tells People.

Adds another from his hometown, Johannes Rossbach: “Andreas was friendly on the surface and seemed normal and happy.”

But beneath his sunny profile, the 27-year-old Lubitz harbored a much darker side.

According to reports that seem to turn up new, disturbing information daily, Lubitz suffered from depression, suicidal tendencies and nightmares.

An ex-girlfriend recalled to Germany’s Bild newspaper that the troubled young man would sometimes awake screaming, “We’re going down!”

These secrets are only now coming to light as shocked, heartbroken families from 18 countries mourn loved ones suddenly and senselessly gone – and struggle to understand how the young copilot who giddily flew gliders as a teenager became the man who authorities believe flew himself and 149 innocents aboard Germanwings Flight 9525 to their deaths in a remote part of the French Alps.

You May Like