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Germanwings Copilot May Have Hid Illness That Made Him Unfit To Fly

The copilot who crashed Germanwings Flight 9525 reportedly hid a health condition from his employers that would have deemed him unfit to fly.

According to Reuters, investigators found numerous doctors' notes in Andreas Lubitz's home stating that the 27-year-old shouldn't have been at work the day he flew a plane into the French Alps and killed 150 people.

German prosecutors said,

The fact there are sick notes saying he was unable to work, among other things, that were found torn up, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, support the assumption based on the preliminary examination that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues.

Lubitz is said to have entered a depressive state six years ago when he postponed his training to become a pilot.

He allegedly took six months off in 2009, and Reuters reports he might have received psychiatric treatment for depression and anxiety for over a year.

Mental health problems didn't seem to be an issue when Lubitz went back to training, however, said the CEO of Lufthansa, which is the airline that owns Germanwings.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said on Thursday,

After he was cleared again, he resumed training. He passed all the subsequent tests and checks with flying colors. His flying abilities were flawless.

The Metro reports this depressive episode could have been triggered by a breakup with a girlfriend, but many acquaintances of Lubitz had only good things to say about him.

Klaus Radke, who runs the flight club in Germany,

I got to know him, or I should say reacquainted with him, as a very nice, fun and polite young man.

A friend told Reuters, however, Lubitz became increasingly silent and began talking less and less.

The friend said,

He always used to be a quiet companion, but in the last year that got worse.

Lubitz is believed to have committed the mass murder after locking the captain of the Germanwings flight out of the cockpit when he had exited, most likely to use the bathroom.

Numerous airlines such as Norwegian Air, Britain's easyJet, and Air Canada now require two crew members to be in the cockpit at all times, protocol most US airlines already follow.

If a pilot needs to exit, Mashable reports, a flight attendant must be present in the cockpit until he or she returns.

Lufthansa has not declared whether it will implement this rule.

Citations: Airlines change cockpit policies after deadly crash (Mashable), Pilot hid health condition that would have banned flying (Reuters), Depressed pilot in French Alps crash may have recently split from love interest (The Metro)