Germanwings Copilot Sought Treatment For Vision Issues Before Crash
As authorities continue to investigate the Germanwings crash, another troubling discovery has been made about the plane's copilot, who allegedly crashed the jet in an apparent murder-suicide.
According to a report in the New York Times, Andreas Lubitz, who was flying the plane independently at the time of its collision in the French Alps, sought treatment for vision problems prior to the fated flight. The specifics regarding his vision problems and treatment remain unknown; however, it's likely his ability to fly was compromised on some level.
This news comes on the heels of the discovery that the 27-year-old German pilot had also been undergoing treatment for various psychological issues at the time of the crash -- issues that could explain his tragic decision to end his, and 150 others', lives.
In a statement on Friday, the Dusseldorf University Hospital admitted Lubitz had sought treatment there in February and continued to do so as recently as March 10. The nature of his visits, however, was not divulged.
The severity and nature of Lubitz's vision problems remain unclear; authorities are continuing to investigate the potential correlation between his psychological and sensory issues.
Lubitz allegedly kept his medical conditions a secret from his employers, who likely would have terminated him if made aware of the situation.
When investigating his apartment in Dusseldorf, authorities found several doctors' notes excusing the pilot from working.
The notes had been torn up and discarded, adding to the suspicion that, while aware of the potential danger of his conditions, Lubitz made a conscious decision to continue working, perhaps having planned the crash prior to boarding the plane.
The black box recordings, which reveal that the co-pilot intentionally locked the pilot out of the Airbus A320's cockpit and refused his demands to be let back in, support this theory.
Following the tragic crash, the German Aviation Authority is implementing a new rule, which requires two authorized people to be present in the cockpit when the plane is in service.
This new safety regulation, which is designed to prevent similar tragedies in the future, applies to all German airlines going forward.