The last words from the Germanwings co-pilot who crashed a plane into the French alps last week seem ominous with hindsight.
Andreas Lubitz, 27, didn’t speak after he locked the captain of the Airbus plane out of the cockpit and directed the aircraft on a descent into the mountains.
But he did encourage the captain to leave him alone in the cockpit after the plane took off.
German tabloid Bild has published details from the cockpit voice recording recovered at the crash site, The Telegraph reports.
Lubitz first told captain Patrick Sondheimer that he could leave the cockpit about 20 minutes after the plane took off once Sondheimer mentioned that he hadn’t had time to go to the bathroom in Barcelona. But Sondheimer apparently stayed in the cockpit.
Then, once the plane reached cruising altitude, Sondheimer started briefing Lubitz on their upcoming landing in Dusseldorf. Lubitz reportedly replied: “Hopefully” and “We’ll see.” After that, Lubitz again told Sondheimer that he could take over the controls while Sondheimer was in the bathroom, saying, “You can go now.”
Almost as soon as Sondheimer left the cockpit, the plane started its descent. Alarms could be heard going off in the cockpit, and before the plane crashed, an automated warning reportedly announced: “Terrain! Pull up! Pull up!”
Sondheimer was banging on the cockpit door and reportedly tried to break through it with an axe before the plane went down. Passengers can be heard screaming before the plane crashes.
All 150 people on board the plane died in the crash.
Lubitz was reportedly suffering from an illness that he hid from his employer before he took down the Germanwings plane. Prosecutors said Monday that Lubitz had been treated years ago for suicidal tendencies, and investigators found a doctor’s note at Lubitz’s home declaring him unfit for work. Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings, said the note was not submitted to the company.
He was also reportedly having relationship troubles and had suffered a “severe depressive episode” several years ago, according to sources who spoke to Bild. Lubitz’s girlfriend is reportedly pregnant with his child; it’s unclear if they were still together at the time of the crash.
Lubitz reportedly told one ex-girlfriend once that he wanted to do something to “change the whole system” and that “all will know my name and remember it.”
Lubitz might also have been close to losing his pilot job — he was reportedly being treated for vision problems that could have affected his ability to fly.
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