Was The Germanwings Co-Pilot, Andreas Lubitz, Suicidal? Here's A Closer Look

According to officials, Andreas Lubitz "deliberately" crashed the Germanwings flight in the French Alps Tuesday, killing 144 passengers and six crew members including himself. Lubitz has no known ties to terrorism groups, officials said. But they've been hesitant to say if Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot, was suicidal, as the investigation into the 27-year-old's possible motives continues.

French prosecutor Brice Robin said at a press conference Thursday:

I don't necessarily call it suicide when you have responsibility for 100 or so lives.

Hometown acquaintances described Lubitz as a "normal guy" and a "nice young man," according to The Straits Times. As a teenager, he received his glider pilot's license, which allowed him to operate small gliders and sailplanes. Lubitz was also a member of the private flight club LSC Westerwald, where, at the age of 14, he was already in the cockpit of a light aircraft. Club chairman Klaus Radker told The Telegraph that Lubitz long dreamed of becoming a pilot.

It was his dream to fly from an early age and it was a dream he began to fulfill here, so when he went on to gain his commercial license and fly planes like the Airbus, he was very happy and proud.

Radker continued, saying he was anxious to learn the full findings of the officials' investigation into Lubitz's motives.

I find it hard to believe that Andreas, who dreamt of flying and of being a pilot, would deliberately fly his plane into a mountain and kill all those people. If that is true it also means that the results of all the psychological tests he would have had to take to be a pilot were wrong.

Peter Ruecker, a member of the LSC Westerwald, recalled watching Lubitz learn how to fly. He told Reuters:

He was happy he had the job with Germanwings and he was doing well. ... I'm just speechless. I don't have any explanation for this. Knowing Andreas, this is just inconceivable for me. ... He was a lot of fun, even though he was perhaps sometimes a bit quiet. He was just another boy like so many others here.

In 2007, Lubitz left his hometown Montabaur, Germany, a small town about an hour and a half drive from Dusseldorf, when he was 20 years old to start training for his commercial pilot license in the northern German city Bremen. Lubitz passed all his flight training and psychological screenings, Lufthansa CEO Casten Spohr said at a new conference Thursday. Spohr said Lubitz took a months-long break during his training but provided no information as to the nature of his hiatus. Lubitz was found fit to return and continue his training, he said.

But a mother of Lubitz's schoolmate revealed a different story. She told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Lubitz told her daughter he took a break from training because he was suffering from depression.

Apparently he had a burnout, he was in depression.
Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images News/Getty Images

According to German news agency DPA, Lubitz kept a flat in Dusseldorf, a central hub for the Germanwings airline and the destination of the doomed flight. On Thursday evening, authorities searched Lubitz's Dusseldorf flat and his parents' Montabour house, taking large bags of evidence, boxes, and a computer. German police have said they've already found a "significant discovery." Perhaps the answer to Lubitz's motives will be found there.

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