As investigators discover more details of the Germanwings co-pilot in efforts to unravel the mystery behind the crash, a European government official with knowledge of the probe told CNN that Andreas Lubitz's girlfriend knew of his psychological issues, but "did not know the extent of the problems."
The unnamed source said the girlfriend had told investigators that the couple were settling the issues together and "were optimistic" that they could be resolved. According to CNN, Lubitz's actions shocked his girlfriend as much as it did everyone else, though she knew that he had seen two doctors. Both doctors — one an eye doctor and another a neuropsychologist — recently ruled Lubitz unfit to work and concluded that he had psychological issues, the source said.
The CEO of Germanwings' parent company Lufthansa Carsten Spohr affirmed at a press conference on Thursday that Lubitz was "100 percent flightworthy without any limitations," but in recent days, investigators revealed clues about the co-pilot that they say indicate a troubled young man who managed to hide his medical condition from his employer. On Tuesday, though, Lufthansa announced Lubitz had in fact informed his flight school of a depressive episode in 2009. The airline confirmed that the co-pilot had sent an email regarding the situation after his break from training.
On Monday, a prosecutor revealed that Lubitz had encountered such psychological troubles prior to him obtaining his pilot’s license — to fulfill his lifelong dream of flying passenger jets — that he had to undergo treatment for "suicidal tendencies." The 27-year-old pilot also sought treatment for vision problems that could have potentially led to anxiety over his ability to do his job. The Times reported that authorities had not ruled out the possibility that Lubtiz's eye problems were psychosomatic.
Officials familiar with the Germanwings crash investigation said that Lubitz's concern with his vision — that led him to consult several medical professionals — and his preexisting psychological issues appeared to have caused the pilot a sense of anxiety over his ability to hold on to his job.
Among the theories that prosecutors are floating around regarding a possible motive behind Lubitz's purported intent to crash the Germanwings plane into the French Alps — killing 149 people along with himself — is that the pilot worried his medical condition would cost him his pilot's license, CNN reported.
However, reports about the airplane crash and Lubitz's mental health have come in thick and fast, often unverified by authorities, to feed public hunger for information about the pilot. Neighbors from his hometown of Montabour condemned any rush to judgment on the young man who many said took exercise seriously and had indicated no signs of depression.
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