Was Andreas Lubitz On Any Terror Lists? Lufthansa & Germanwings Are As Stumped As Everybody Else
A frustrating Thursday afternoon press conference from Lufthansa and Germanwings made clear that the airline is stumped and devastated by the crash of Germanwings FU 9525 at the hands of Andreas Lubitz, a 28-year-old co-pilot whom investigators believe deliberately brought the plane down. Not only was Lubitz not only any terror lists and offered no indication whatsoever he was capable of bringing down a plane carrying 150 people, he had passed all necessary tests. In short: No systems could have prevented this tragedy, Lufthansa said, and the airline giant isn't yet sure what could have.
Both Lufthansa and Germanwings chiefs — Carsten Spohr and Thomas Winkelmann, respectively — said repeatedly that there were no warning signs and no inkling of suspicious behavior in regard to Lubitz. “What has happened here is a tragic individual event," he said. Lubitz had passed all the required medical tests, but pilots don't undergo mentla health screenings.
One point that caught the attention of the press present at the conference: Six years ago, there was an extended break in Lubitz's training. While Germanwings chief Thomas Winkelmann confirmed the break, he said that the company could not speak publicly about the reasons behind the break, for confidentiality reasons. "This is by far the most terrible event in the company's history," Winkelmann said. Before this week, Germanwings had a spotless safety record.
"We are really, deeply shocked," Winkemann said, "and I would not have been able to imagine that the situation would have got even worse."
Lufthansa chief Carsten Spohr said that training procedures for pilots were of a very high standard — in short, implying that Lubitz somehow slipped through the cracks — and responsible for the high degree of plane safety we generally see today. That said, Spohr added, Lufthansa's safety procedures would have to be reexamined in light of the Germanwings crash.