Crash co-pilot was a psychiatric patient and planned a big gesture, girlfriend tells reporter

Woman identified by German newspaper Bild as having had a relationship with Andreas Lubitz says he was under treatment and planned an event that would be remembered

 Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz running a half marathon in Hamburg in this file image from September 2009. Photo: Reuters

The co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a passenger plane in the French Alps told his girlfriend he was in psychiatric treatment, and that he was planning a spectacular gesture that everyone would remember, the German daily Bild reported on Saturday.

The newspaper published an interview with a woman who said she had had a relationship last year with Andreas Lubitz, the man French prosecutors believe locked himself alone into the cockpit of the Germanwings Airbus on Tuesday and steered it into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board.

French investigators confer outside a mobile forensic lab near the crash site of a Germanwings Airbus A320 in the French Alps. Photo: Reuters

“When I heard about the crash, I remembered a sentence, over and over again, that he said,” the woman, a flight attendant aged 26 named only as Maria W, told Bild. “‘One day I’ll do something that will change the system, and then everyone will know my name and remember it’.”

“I didn’t know what he meant by that at the time, but now it’s obvious,” she said.

“He did it because he realised that, due to his health problems, his big dream of working at Lufthansa, of a having job as a pilot, and as a pilot on long-distance flights, was nearly impossible.”

“He never talked much about his illness, only that he was in psychiatric treatment.”

Germanwings airplanes on the ground at Dusseldorf airport on Friday. Photo: Reuters

German authorities said on Friday they had found torn-up sick notes showing that the co-pilot was suffering from an illness that should have grounded him on the day of the tragedy. Germanwings, the budget airline of the flag carrier Lufthansa, has said he had not submitted any sick note at the time.

Maria W told the paper: “We always talked a lot about work and then he became a different person. He became upset about the conditions we worked under: too little money, fear of losing the contract, too much pressure.”

A Lufthansa spokesman declined to comment.

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 March, 2015, 6:04pm

UPDATED : Saturday, 28 March, 2015, 6:33pm



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