• Germany's news in English

Crash co-pilot told ex 'all will know my name'

AFP · 28 Mar 2015, 11:37

Published: 28 Mar 2015 11:37 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In an interview, the 26-year-old flight attendant known as Maria W told Bild that when she heard about the crash she recalled Andreas Lubitz telling her last year: "One day I'm going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember."

The black-box voice recorder indicates that Lubitz, 27, locked his captain out of the cockpit on Tuesday and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside, French officials say, in what appears to have been a case of suicide and mass killing.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that all the signs were "pointing towards an act that we can't describe: criminal, crazy, suicidal".

German prosecutors revealed that searches of Lubitz's homes netted "medical documents that suggest an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment", including "torn-up and current sick leave notes, among them one covering the day of the crash".

They did not specify the illness.

According to Bild, the young woman, who was "very shocked", flew with Lubitz on European flights for five months last year, during which time they are believed to have been romantically involved.

If Lubitz did deliberately crash the plane, "it is because he understood that because of his health problems, his big dream of a job at Lufthansa, as captain and as a long-haul pilot was practically impossible", she told Bild.

The pair separated "because it became increasingly clear that he had a problem", she told the daily, adding that at night he would wake up and scream "we're going down" and was plagued by nightmares.

Bild earlier reported that Lubitz sought psychiatric help for "a bout of serious depression" in 2009 and was still getting assistance from doctors, quoting documents from Germany's air transport regulator.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that Lubitz had suspended his pilot training, which began in 2008, "for a certain period", before restarting and qualifying for the Airbus A320 in 2013.

Half of the 150 victims of Tuesday's disaster were German, with Spain accounting for at least 50 and the remainder composed of more than a dozen other nationalities.

Germanwings said Friday it had offered the victims' families "up to 50,000 euros ($54,800) per passenger" towards their immediate costs.

The assistance, which the families would not be required to pay back, was separate from the compensation that the airline will likely have to pay over the disaster, a Germanwings spokesman told AFP.

A religious ceremony will take place Saturday morning at 10.30am (09:30 GMT) in the nearby town of Digne-les-Bains, police said.

In the northwestern town of Haltern, which lost 16 students and two teachers on the flight, news that the co-pilot had apparently acted deliberately caused shock and anger.

German President Joachim Gauck, a Protestant pastor, attended a memorial service in the town Friday.

Meanwhile in Montabaur, Mayor Edmund Schaaf urged reporters camped out in the community to show restraint towards Lubitz's parents, a banker and a church organist who live on a leafy, normally quiet street.

Story continues below…

"Regardless of whether the accusations against the co-pilot are true, we sympathise with his family and ask the media to be considerate," he said.

Investigators say Lubitz's intention was clear because he operated a button sending the plane into a plunge.

For the next eight minutes, Lubitz was apparently calm and breathing normally.

The second-in-command had passed all psychological tests required for training, Lufthansa's Spohr told reporters on Thursday.

Recovery operations at the remote crash site were still ongoing, with French officials continuing to comb the mountain for body parts and evidence.

The plane's second black box, which records flight data, has not yet been recovered.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd