Germanwings pilot had history of ‘suicidal tendencies’

The ongoing saga that is the Germanwings plane crash took another dark turn today when authorities released the information that Andreas Lubitz, who was piloting the Airbus A320 when it crashed, killing 150 people, had been treated for “suicidal tendencies” before becoming a pilot.

The New York Times reports:

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — The co-pilot of the Germanwings jetliner that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday had been treated for “suicidal tendencies” before receiving his pilot’s license, the office of the German prosecutor in Düsseldorf said Monday.

The co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had been treated by psychotherapists “over a long period of time,” the prosecutor’s office said, without providing precise dates. In follow-up visits to doctors since that time, the prosecutor said, “no signs of suicidal tendencies or outward aggression were documented.”

Mr. Lubitz’s medical records show no physical illnesses, the prosecutor said.

The disturbing news adds to recent reports that Lubitz had suffered unspecified vision problems that may have imperiled his career as a pilot (though it’s unclear if the prosecutor’s new comment about physical illnesses contradicts this). The revelations, along with the news that a search of his home discovered antidepressants, may add fuel to the hypothesis that Lubitz’s actions were suicidal in nature though his exact motivations, if the crash was indeed intentional, may remain forever unknown.

[New York Times]