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Germanwings co-pilot lied to doctors about flying planes, told them was on sick leave

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz lied to his doctors, told them he was on sick leave instead of flying commercial planes.

By: Reuters | Berlin |
Updated: April 2, 2015 2:36:19 pm
CEOs of Germanwings Thomas Winkelmann, left, and Lufthansa Carsten Spohr answer reporters near the site of the Germanwings jet crash, in Le Vernet, France, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. CEOs of Germanwings Thomas Winkelmann, left, and Lufthansa Carsten Spohr answer reporters near the site of the Germanwings jet crash, in Le Vernet, France, Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

The Germanwings co-pilot, suspected of deliberately crashing a plane in the French Alps, allegedly lied to doctors, telling them he was on sick leave rather than flying commercial planes, German daily Bild reported on Thursday.

Citing sources from the investigation, the paper said 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz had sought medical attention to try and cure an eye condition. Although Lubitz gave doctors information about his job as a pilot, and in some cases about his employer Germanwings, he deliberately concealed the fact that he was still working, the paper said.

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Bild said that documents available to the investigators had also revealed that Lubitz had said he was involved in a car crash at the end of 2014. He was apparently injured when the airbag opened and had complained of trauma and vision problems since the incident.

Investigators are still trying to work out the motive for why Lubitz would take the controls of the Airbus A320, lock the captain out of the cockpit and apparently deliberately steer the aircraft into a mountainside. All 150 people on board were killed in the crash last week.

According to medical records, Lubitz stated that he was taking medicines to treat depression, anxiety disorders and panic attacks, Bild said, adding the drugs were an antidepressant and the tranquilizer Lorazepam.

Germanwings parent Lufthansa said on Tuesday that when Lubitz resumed pilot training in 2009 he provided the flight school with medical documents showing he had gone through a “previous episode of severe depression”.

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