Germanwings killer pilot was refused medical certificate by US 5 years ago

Andreas Lubitz, who deliberately crashed a plane, killing 150, was refused pilot’s licence

Reuters in Berlin and Washington


Former Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz.Photo: AP

US authorities temporarily refused a private pilot’s medical certificate in 2010 for Andreas Lubitz, the pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a Germanwings plane last month, according to documents released by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Voice and data recordings from the Germanwings flight on March 24 show Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit and set the plane on course to crash into the French Alps, killing all 150 on board.

Investigators in Germany have found evidence that Lubitz, who during his training six years ago had informed the Lufthansa flight school of a period of “severe depression“, had researched methods of suicide in the period leading up to the tragedy. He had also hidden doctors’ notes signing him off work from his employers.

In a letter dated July 8, 2010, published on its website following a freedom of information request, the FAA said Lubitz was ineligible for an airman medical certificate and that further reports from doctors on his medication and treatment were required due to his history of reactive depression.

Information provided by doctors to the FAA shows Lubitz was treated with Cipralex and Mirtazapine and received psychotherapeutic treatment from January to October 2009.

“Severe depressive episode without psychotic symptoms in complete remission,” states the diagnosis given by German doctors and provided to the FAA, which was scrutinising Lubitz because he applied privately for a pilots’ license in the United States.

After reviewing the medical records, the FAA awarded a third-class medical certificate, typically used by student pilots and those flying recreationally, to Lubitz but said in a letter dated July 28, 2010 that he should not fly should he develop new symptoms or require further medication or treatment.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Depressed killer co-pilot failed US medical

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 May, 2015, 10:37pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 May, 2015, 10:37pm

#AndreasLubitz   #Germanwingscrash