Friday, 27 March 2015

Suicide or mass murder? Germanwings Flight 9525

Suicide or mass murder?   Germanwings Flight 9525
It now appears beyond all reasonable doubt that first officer Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew the Airbus A320 into the side of a mountain in the French Alps killing all 149 other souls on board.
 Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin, in charge of the investigation, confirmed reports that the captain left the cabin minutes before the crash and was unable to get back in, during a special press conference yesterday.

Robin told the assembled journalists that pounding could be heard on the door during the final minutes of the flight as alarms sounded to signal that the aircraft was too close to land.
The black box recording showed that the captain and co-pilot talked normally and "courteously" for the first 20 minutes of the flight after it took off from Barcelona. Already that morning that had flown the aircraft together, with no incidents reported or mentioned.
"Then we hear the pilot ask the co-pilot to take the controls and a seat being pulled back and a door closing. We can assume he left to answer nature's call," said Robin. "The co-pilot is left alone at the controls. We hear several calls from the pilot asking for entry into the cockpit. There is no response from the co-pilot."
“The co-pilot did not say a word once the captain left the cockpit and his breathing was normal throughout the final minutes of the flight.” Robin said. Hauntingly he confirmed that screams of passengers could be heard in the last final moments of the recording before the aircraft hit the ground.
More focus is now being spent on the mental state of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who lived with his parents in the small western German town of Montabour. He had qualified as a pilot at the Lufthansa training centre in Bremen, he then started flying for low-cost subsidiary, Germanwings, shortly after completing the course in 2013.  At the time of this final flight, Lubitz had accumulated just over 630 hours of flight experience, according to a Lufthansa spokeswoman.
Lubitz was an avid runner who often took part in local races and was a member of a private flying club in Montabour, where he was described as upbeat - "He was happy he had the job with Germanwings and he was doing well. He was very happy. He gave off a good feeling.”
German investigators have confirmed that evidence retrieved from Lubitz’s Dusseldorf flat indicate the young pilot was suffering from an unspecified mental illness. Lubitz. German media is reporting that the pilot took a six-month break from flight training in 2009 due to ‘burnout-syndrome’ and that he had continued to have “specific and regular medical treatment” ever since that bout of depression.
Carsten Spohr, CEO of Germanwings’ parent company Lufthansa, had already told the media that Lubitz took a "several-month gap" six years ago. However, he said: "I am not able to state the reasons why he took the break." Lubitz later resumed training and passed all his tests, including psychological and medical exams, Spohr said, adding that the co-pilot was deemed “100 percent fit to fly without any restrictions”.
“We can only speculate what might have been the motivation of the co-pilot," Spohr added. "In our worst nightmares we could not have imagined that this kind of tragedy could happen to us".
According to German media reports, the Germen investigators have found a torn up ‘sick note’ excusing Lubitz from work on the day of the crash.  

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