Andreas Lubitz was the Germanwings co-pilot who officials say locked out Captain Patrick Sonderheimer from the cockpit and deliberately crashed Flight 9525 into the French Alps, killing all 150 people onboard.
French prosecutor Brice Robin said Andreas Lubitz, 28, locked the doors of the cockpit after the captain went to the restroom and sent the plane into descent with 150 people on board on march 24.
Investigators will now pore over Andreas Lubitz’s background to try and ascertain his exact mental state in the days leading up to the plane crash.
Andreas Lubitz lived with his parents at their home in the western town of Montabaur, which has now become a scene of deep media intrigue.
Police officers have been patrolling the quiet town to keep reporters and photographers away from the front door.
Andreas Lubitz first took to the skies as a teenager, at the LSC Westerwald e.V. glider club in Montabaur.
He learned to fly in a sleek white ASK-21 two-seat glider when he was around 14 or 15-years-old, according to the club’s chairman Klaus Radke.
In 2008, Andreas Lubitz was accepted as a Lufthansa trainee, after obtaining his glider pilot’s license, and enrolled at the company’s training school in Bremen.
In 2014, he joined subsidiary airline Germanwings and began working as a co-pilot. He had flown a total of 630 hours before Tuesday’s fatal crash.
“He was 100% fit to fly without any restrictions or conditions,” Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr told reporters in Cologne.
Those who knew Andreas Lubitz have described him as a quiet but affable character who gave no indications he was harboring any harmful intent.
Klaus Radke told the Associated Press that he saw Andreas Lubitz last autumn, when he returned to the club to renew his glider license.
“He seemed very enthusiastic about his career. I can’t remember anything where something wasn’t right,” he said.
Klaus Radke rejected the prosecutor’s claims that the plane was brought down intentionally. He said: “I don’t see how anyone can draw such conclusions before the investigation is completed.”
Peter Ruecker, a long-time member of club, also insisted Andreas Lubitz seemed “very happy” during their last meeting.
“I’m just speechless. I don’t have any explanation for this. Knowing Andreas, this is just inconceivable for me,” he said.
Prosecutor Brice Robin said there were no grounds to suspect that Andres Lubitz had carried out a terrorist attack. He refused to discuss his religious background.
“Suicide” was also the wrong word to describe actions which killed so many other people, Brice Robin said.
“I don’t necessarily call it suicide when you have responsibility for 100 or so lives.”
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