German pilot told partner 'everyone will know my name'

Ex-girlfriend of Andreas Lubitz says he told her he wanted to "change the system" and was angry about career prospects.

    German pilot told partner 'everyone will know my name'
    Searches at Andreas Lubitz's homes turned up documents pointing to "an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment" [AFP]

    The co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a passenger plane in the French Alps told his girlfriend he was in psychiatric treatment, and that he was planning to do something that everyone would remember.

    The German mewspaper Bild published an interview on Saturday with a woman who said she had had a relationship in 2014 with Andreas Lubitz, the man French prosecutors believe locked himself alone into the cockpit of the Germanwings Airbus on Tuesday and steered it into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board.

    "When I heard about the crash, I remembered a sentence, over and over again, that he said," the woman, a flight attendant of 26 named only as Maria W, told Bild.

    "One day I'll do something that will change the system, and then everyone will know my name and remember it'," she said he told her.

    "I didn't know what he meant by that at the time, but now it's obvious," the attendant said.

    "He did it because he realised that, due to his health problems, his big dream of working at Lufthansa, of a having job as a pilot, and as a pilot on long-distance flights, was nearly impossible."

    On Friday, German authorities said they had found torn-up sick notes showing that the co-pilot was suffering from an illness that should have grounded him on the day of the tragedy.

    Germanwings, the budget airline of the flag carrier Lufthansa, has said he had not submitted any sick note at the time.

    Maria W told the paper: "We always talked a lot about work and then he became a different person.

    "He became upset about the conditions we worked under: too little money, fear of losing the contract, too much pressure."

    A Lufthansa spokesman declined to comment, the Reuters news agency reported.  

    Germany contends with grief over deadly plane crash

    Searches conducted at Lubitz's homes in Dusseldorf and in the town of Montabaur turned up documents pointing to "an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment," but no suicide note was found, said Ralf Herrenbrueck, a spokesman for the Dusseldorf prosecutors' office.    

    Ripped-up sick notes   

    The documents included ripped-up sick notes covering the day of the crash, which "support the current preliminary assessment that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and colleagues," Herrenbrueck said in a statement.  

    Doctors commonly issue employees in Germany with such notes excusing them from work, even for minor illnesses, and workers hand them to their employers.

    Doctors are obliged to abide by medical secrecy unless their patient explicitly tells them he or she plans to commit an act of violence. 

    Prosecutors did not specify what illness Lubitz may have been suffering from, or say whether it was mental or physical.

    German media reported on Friday that Lubitz, who appeared happy and healthy to acquaintances, had suffered from depression.  

    The Dusseldorf University Hospital said on Friday that Lubitz had been a patient there over the past two months and last went in for a "diagnostic evaluation" on March 10.

    It declined to provide details, citing medical confidentiality, but denied reports it had treated Lubitz for depression.  

    Citing German media, Al Jazeera's Dominic Kane, reporting from Montabaur, said Lubitz had a history of depression, and broke off his pilot training in 2009 to undergo psychiatric treatment.

    Carsten Spohr, the chief executive of Lufthansa, said that though Lubitz had suspended his pilot training, which began in 2008, he later continued and was able to qualify for the Airbus A320 in 2013.  

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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