What We Know About the Germanwings Co-Pilot
Andreas Lubitz was 'happy to have his job'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2015 10:28 AM CDT
An image of Andreas Lubitz circulating on social media.   (Facebook)
camera-icon View 6 more images

(Newser) – Before he locked his pilot out of the cockpit and intentionally sent 149 people to their deaths on a French mountainside, Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was an apparently happy guy with hobbies and a picturesque house in Montabaur, Germany. A neighbor who knew him tells Le Figaro that Lubitz "was completely normal. He was very happy to have his job. He had attained his dream of having become a professional pilot." Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, speaking at a press conference today, per the Guardian, said the revelation that the crash was intentional "leaves us absolutely speechless. I [wouldn't] have been able to imagine that the situation would have got even worse." Here's what else is known about Lubitz:

  • He was an avid runner and a member of Montabaur flight club called LSC Westerwald.
  • Lubitz began his training in 2008; he completed it after an unexplained interruption of several months, per CNN. Spohr says there was nothing unusual about that, or the results of his training, but the company says it will look into it. Lubitz initially worked as a flight attendant.
  • An American law enforcement official tells CBS that part of Lubitz's training took place in Phoenix between July and November 2010; Lubitz was last in the US in October.
  • Lubitz had passed all flight and medical exams and had been deemed "100% fit to fly," Spohr said. "This is a shock. We select cockpit personnel carefully."
  • Spohr declined to discuss whether Lubitz committed suicide, the Guardian notes, saying, "we can only speculate what might have been the motivation of the co-pilot." Then rather more succinctly, per CNN: "If a person kills himself and also 149 other people, another word should be used—not suicide."