Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is now believed to be the murderer of 150 people, after evidence surfaced that suggests Tuesday’s tragic plane crash was intentional. At a press conference on Thursday morning, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin revealed that Lubitz apparently “accelerated the descent” of the aircraft, rather than trying to correct the plane’s trajectory. Though motive has yet to be discovered, this twist of events has the world weary as to if the pilot of their plane can be trusted.
Lufthansa, Germanwings’ parent company, has let the public know more details of the ill-fated flight. According to audio recordings retrieved from the black box, Lubitz had locked the other pilot out of the cockpit before nose-diving in the mountains, causing the deaths of the plane’s passengers. The yet-unidentified captain was thought to have left the cockpit merely to use the restroom, before returning to find his plane had been taken over by a madman. Through listening to the audio recording of the events as they transpired, the captain can clearly be heard banging loudly on the cockpit door to be let back in. The horrifying screams of the 150 passengers can be heard at the end of the recording, as well.
Lubitz was heard as being in, “a calm control of their aircraft throughout the descent, breathing normally and not speaking”, in a statement released by Robin. While Robin is hesitant to speculate if Lubitz had planned the crash beforehand, the prosecutor stated that the co-pilot, “obviously took advantage of the captain being gone from the cockpit.” It has also been found that the captain was able to use a video conference system to speak to the him, but it is unknown if Lubitz heard the captain.
When Robin was asked if he thought the plane crash was a suicide, Robin responded that with 150 other people present on the plane, suicide seems unlikely. While no motive has been found as to why the Germanwings co-pilot chose to murder 150 people by crashing the jet, investigators are still seeking answers. In situations such as this, questions are brought up as to the mental health capacity of pilots before takeoff.
Several years ago, a Hollywood film called Flight was released, receiving rave reviews. In the movie, a pilot played by Denzel Washington had saved a plane from being completely eliminated, by engaging in questionable flying techniques. The character would have been labeled as a hero for saving a large number of lives on the plane, but had large amounts of alcohol and other drugs in his system upon taking flight. With the popularity of this film, many have come to realize that some pilots get away with flying under the influence. In other cases, such as this tragically intentional murder of 150 passengers of a Germanwings commercial flight, pilots consume more than drugs and alcohol, they consume souls. As revealed with Lubitz’s medical evaluations, at times not even professionals can determine when a pilot is unfit for duty.
The CEO of Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr, also revealed that a number of years ago during training, Lubitz had taken a surprising leave of absence due to undisclosed problems. In Germany, the rules regarding releasing medical information to employers is very strict, and caters to the patient’s right to secrecy. So, it is not yet known if Lubitz’s taking time off was for any medical conditions. Spohr did go on to say, however, that Lubitz passed his physical and psychological evaluations prior to taking controls of a Germanwings flight, and passed with “flying colors,” and his skills as a pilot were never in doubt. Although it has not yet been determined if the cockpit door malfunctioned, or was intentionally locked, the entire incident is puzzling to Germanwings officials.
While tragedies as the Germanwings Flight 9525 do not occur often, the circumstances in this case are a bit peculiar. The captain’s identity is supposedly not yet known. There appears to be nothing wrong with Lubitz during the flight leading up to the crash, as the audio dialogue between the two pilots showed no tension, or otherwise strange behavior. There is currently no reason authorities can think of as to why this incident occurred, and all motives of terrorism have been ruled out, leaving the world to guess at what convinced this pilot to murder his passengers and co-workers.
By Benjamin Johnson
Photo by Michael Frank Franz – Flickr License