Pilot told Lufthansa in 2009 of 'previous episode of severe depression'

31st March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Lufthansa said Tuesday that the co-pilot of the crashed Germanwings jet had informed the airline in 2009 that he had previously suffered from severe depression.

The airline said it had handed additional documents, in particular medical and training documents, to prosecutors in the western city of Duesseldorf after "further internal investigations".

These also included email correspondence from co-pilot Andreas Lubitz to his flight training school, where he, at one point, interrupted his pilot training for several months, it said in a statement.

He later received the medical certificate confirming he was fit to fly.

"In this correspondence he informed the Flight Training Pilot School in 2009, in the medical documents he submitted in connection with resuming his flight training, about a 'previous episode of severe depression'," Lufthansa said.

"Lufthansa will continue to provide the investigating authorities with its full and unlimited support," it added.

Investigators evaluating voice recorder data from a "black box" located after the disaster a week ago say Lubitz, 27, apparently locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately slammed the plane into a French mountainside, killing all 150 people on board.

German prosecutors said Monday that Lubitz was diagnosed as suicidal "several years ago", before he became a pilot, but had appeared more stable of late.

Doctors had recently found no sign he intended to hurt himself or others, said Ralf Herrenbrueck, spokesman for the Duesseldorf prosecutor's office.

However, he was receiving treatment from neurologists and psychiatrists who had signed him off sick from work a number of times, including the day of the crash.

Ripped up sick notes were found in a flat used by Lubitz, which authorities believe indicates that the 27-year-old was trying to hide his illness from his employer.

© 2015 AFP

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