this Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009 photo Andreas Lubitz competes at
the Airportrun in Hamburg, northern Germany. Germanwings
co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appears to have hidden evidence of
an illness from his employers, including having been excused
by a doctor from work the day he crashed a passenger plane
into a mountain, prosecutors said Friday. The evidence came
from the search of Lubitz's homes in two German cities for
an explanation of why he crashed the Airbus A320 into the
French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
Germany - Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appeared happy and
healthy to acquaintances, but a picture emerged Friday of a man
who hid evidence of an illness from his employers — including a
torn-up doctor's note that would have kept him off work the day
authorities say he crashed Flight 9525 into an Alpine
prosecutors sought to piece together the puzzle of why Lubitz
locked his captain out of the cockpit and crashed the Airbus A320,
police in the French Alps toiled to retrieve the shattered remains
of the 150 people killed in Tuesday's crash.
conducted at Lubitz's homes in Duesseldorf and in the town of
Montabaur turned up documents pointing to "an existing
illness and appropriate medical treatment," but no suicide
note was found, said Ralf Herrenbrueck, a spokesman for the
Duesseldorf prosecutors' office.
ripped-up sick notes covering the day of the crash, which
"support the current preliminary assessment that the deceased
hid his illness from his employer and colleagues,"
Herrenbrueck said in a statement.
issue employees in Germany with such notes excusing them from
work, even for minor illnesses, and workers hand them to their
employers. Doctors are obliged to abide by medical secrecy unless
their patient explicitly tells them he or she plans to commit an
act of violence.
didn't specify what illness Lubitz may have been suffering from,
or say whether it was mental or physical. German media reported
Friday that the 27-year-old had suffered from depression.
University Hospital said Friday that Lubitz had been a patient
there over the past two months and last went in for a
"diagnostic evaluation" on March 10. It declined to
provide details, citing medical confidentiality, but denied
reports it had treated Lubitz for depression.
described a man whose physical health was superb and road race
records show Lubitz took part in several long-distance runs.
definitely did not smoke. He really took care of himself. He
always went jogging. ... He was very healthy," said Johannes
Rossmann, who lives a few doors from Lubitz's home in Montabaur.
Montabaur who knew Lubitz told The Associated Press that he had
been thrilled with his job at Germanwings and seemed very happy.
On Friday, no one
was seen coming or going from his family's large slate-roofed
two-story house in Montabaur as more than 100 journalists remained
outside. Mayor Edmund Schaaf appealed to the media to show
of whether the accusations against the co-pilot are true or not,
we have sympathy for his family," he said.
that both pilots on the plane had medical clearance, and it had
received no sick note for the day of the crash. Medical checkups
are done by certified doctors and take place once a year.
A German aviation
official told the AP that Lubitz's file at the country's Federal
Aviation Office contained a notation that meant he needed
"specific regular medical examination." Such a notation
could refer to either a physical or mental condition but the
official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not
authorized to release the information, said Lubitz's file did not
German media have
painted a picture of a man with a history of depression who had
received psychological treatment, and who may have been set off by
a falling-out with his girlfriend. Duesseldorf prosecutors, who
are leading the German side of the probe, refused to comment on
the anonymously sourced reports.
The U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration had issued Lubitz a third-class medical
certificate. In order to obtain such a certificate, a pilot must
be cleared of psychological problems including psychosis, bipolar
disorder and personality disorders.
also means that he wasn't found to be suffering from another
mental health condition that "makes the person unable to
safely perform the duties or exercise the privileges" of a
the CEO of Germanwings' parent company, Lufthansa, has said there
was a "several-month" gap in Lubitz's training six years
ago, but didn't elaborate. Following the disruption, he said,
Lubitz "not only passed all medical tests but also his flight
training, all flying tests and checks."
there was no indication of any political or religious motivation
for Lubitz's actions on the Barcelona-Duesseldorf flight.
In the French
Alps, police working to recover remains from the crash site said
they so far have recovered between 400 and 600 pieces of remains
from the victims.
Touron of the gendarme service said DNA samples have been taken
from objects provided by victims' families, such as combs or
toothbrushes, that could help identify them. Jewelry and other
objects could also help in the identification process, he said.
found a single body intact," he said.
The rough terrain
means that recovery workers have to be backed up by mountain
rescuers. "We have particularly difficult conditions, and
each person needs to be roped up," Touron said.
Also Friday, the
European Aviation Safety Agency recommended that airlines in the
future always have two people in the cockpit. The move came after
several airlines, including Germanwings parent Lufthansa, pledged
to impose the measure.