Andreas Lubitz had vowed to “do something” that would “change the whole system” and make everyone “remember” him, reports say.
A former girlfriend of the co-pilot accused of deliberately crashing a Germanwings plane is reported to have told how he suffered nightmares and once ominously woke up screaming: “We’re going down!”, Sky News reports. According to the Bild newspaper, the ex-lover of Andreas Lubitz, identified only as Mary W, said he had told her last year: “One day I will do something that will change the whole system, and then all will know my name and remember it.”
She added: “I never knew what he meant, but now it makes sense.” The 26-year-old stewardess said Lubitz had been tormented by nightmares and his behaviour scared her. “At night, he woke up and screamed: ‘We’re going down!’, because he had nightmares. He knew how to hide from other people what was really going on inside,” she told the paper.
Her claims follow revelations by German prosecutors that Lubitz had hidden a sick note declaring him unfit to work on the day of the disaster before boarding the Barcelona to Dusseldorf flight and piloting it into a mountainside in the French Alps. All 150 people on board the Airbus A320 were killed in the crash.
The prosecutors’ office said: “Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors. “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.”
Germanwings confirmed the sick note was not submitted to the company. The prosecutors also said the search found no suicide note or confession, “nor was there any evidence of a political or religious background to what happened”. Lubitz lived with his parents, a banker and a church organist, in his small home town of Montabaur in the Rhineland and kept an apartment in Dusseldorf.
Montabaur Mayor Edmund Schaaf urged reporters camped out in the community to show restraint. Regardless of whether the accusations against the co-pilot are true, we sympathise with his family and ask the media to be considerate,” he said. German media has reported Lubitz received treatment for a “serious depressive episode” six years ago during his training to become a pilot.
Lufthansa, parent company of Germanwings, said it was aware he had broken off his training in 2009, but said there was nothing in his background to suggest he was a risk. The company, which also owns Austrian Airlines and Swiss Air, said he passed all the relevant examinations necessary to become a pilot and was deemed “100% airworthy”. Some 75 German people were on board the aircraft. At least 50 Spanish citizens were also on the flight, along with three Britons.
On Friday, a memorial service was held in Dusseldorf for the German victims of the crash and hundreds of other mourners attended a mass in Barcelona for three generations of one family who died. Lufthansa said family briefings are planned for later today at its family assistance centre in the French city of Marseille. The airline also announced it would pay up to 50,000 euros (£36,000) in immediate financial assistance per passenger. Police and rescue workers are still hunting for the aircraft’s second black box on the fifth day of recovery operations at the scene of the crash.