Frantic captain heard on black box

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 29 Maret 2015 | 20.01

The Germanwings co-pilot who 'deliberately' crashed the plane sought psychiatric help for depression in 2009

Investigation continues ... the personal life of Andreas Lubitz is being carefully looked at. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

THE captain of the passenger jet that is believed to have been deliberately crashed into the French Alps reportedly shouted at the co-pilot to 'open the damn door' as he desperately tried to get into the locked cockpit.

French officials say the plane's black box voice recorder indicates that Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit of the Germanwings jet and steered the flight into a mountainside, killing all 150 people on board.

They believe that the more senior pilot, identified by Germany's Bild newspaper as Patrick S., tried desperately to reopen the door during the Barcelona to Dusseldorf flight's eight-minute descent after he left to use the toilet.

Devastation ... an investigator is lifted by helicopter from the crash site of the Germanwings Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps. Picture: AFP/Anne-Christine Poujoulat Source: AFP

The mass-circulation's Sunday edition reported that data from the cockpit recorder showed the captain shouted "For God's sake, open the door", as passengers' screams could be heard in the background.

It said "loud metallic blows" against the cockpit door could then be heard, before another warning alarm went off and then the pilot is heard to scream to a silent Lubitz in the cockpit "open the damn door".

Bild said that, earlier in Tuesday's flight, the captain was heard explaining to his colleague that he had not had time to go to the toilet before takeoff.

Prayers ... a priest prepares a ceremony for victims of the crash, at Notre-Dame-du-bourg Cathedral. Picture: AFP/Jeff Pachoud Source: AFP

As investigators seek to build up a picture of Lubitz and any possible motives, media reports have emerged that he suffered from eye problems, adding to earlier reports he was severely depressed.

German prosecutors believe Lubitz hid an illness from his airline but have not specified the ailment, and said he had apparently been written off sick on the day the Airbus crashed.

The Sunday edition of Germany's Bild tabloid and the New York Times, which cited two officials with knowledge of the investigation, said Lubitz had sought treatment for problems with his sight.

The 27-year-old had been hospitalised as late as a fortnight ago with authorities not ruling out his eyes issue were psychosomatic.

Troubled man ... Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings airliner. Picture: Wolfgang Nass/BILD Source: Supplied

Revelations by his ex-girlfriend, a flight attendant identified under the assumed name Maria W., that he was a tormented man and increasingly becoming erratic was prompted by his fear his mental and eye health for which he was receiving psychiatric and neurological treatment may deem him unfit to fly.

The problem is thought to be a retinal detachment, Bild said.

It also reported that Lubitz's girlfriend with whom he lived in the western city of Dusseldorf was believed to be pregnant.

It gave no sources but said the teacher, who taught maths and English, had told pupils a few weeks ago she was expecting a baby.

It came as new claims suggest Andreas Lubitz was obsessed with the Alps and specifically the southern region which he would later crash his Germanwings flight into, having flown gliders over the area years earlier.

Distraught ... Lubitz's father is a "broken man", say mayor Bernard Bartolini, who governs the town next to the crash site. Mr Bartolini spoke to the copilot's father at a memorial for relatives on Thursday. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Bad eyesight ... Andreas Lubitz was reportedly suffering from deteriorating eyesight. Picture: AFP Photo, Team Mueller Source: AFP

It also came as hundreds attended a memorial service held in the stunning 12th century Notre-Dame-du-Bourg Cathedral in Digne-les-Bains, the town nearest the crash site where 150 candles were lit and prayers offered for each of the passengers and crew including Lubitz.

Maria W. dated Lubitz for five months last year but broke it off because she felt he was not right, was volatile and had a temper. He had been in a previous long-term relationship of several years with a woman he met at Burger King where they both worked in 2008 in Montabaur in Germany and since Maria had been dating another flight attendant.

Remembrance ... flowers and candles left to commemorate a woman from Halle, eastern Germany. Picture: Hendrik Schmidt Source: AFP

'During conversations he'd suddenly throw a tantrum and scream at me," Maria said. "I was afraid. He even once locked me in the bathroom for a long time."

She said after she had heard about the crash she recalled a conversation Lubitz had with her.

"When I heard about the crash, there was just a tape playing in my head of what he said: 'One day I will do something that will change the system and everyone will then know my name and remember me'," she recalled

"I did not know what he meant by that at the time, but now it's clear." Authorities have found several torn up sick notes in his Dusseldorf apartment that excused him from work but apparently were never given to his bosses.

"The torn up sick notes make sense now to me and were a clear sign that he did not want to admit that his big dream of flying as a captain was over," Maria said.

Evidence found ... sick notes saying Lubitz was unfit to fly were found in his home. Picture: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

At the Notre-Dame-du-Bourg Cathedral, 40km from the crash site, several hundred parishioners from the district as well as members of the French and Spanish branches of the Red Cross dispatched to assist those distressed by the incident, prayed for the victims and their families.

The Digne archbishop spoke to people's feelings of grief and confusion about the tragedy.

"We are in deep distress, plunged into sadness, unable to understand, and have strong feelings of unfairness," archbishop Jean-Philippe Nault, told some 500 faithful.

He said they had come "to express their friendship" for the families and friends of those killed on board the Airbus A320 travelling from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when it went down.

Elements of the service were given by priests from Spain and Germany in their native tongue.

One parishioner Franciscan Convent nun Sister Rosilda said it was important to attend and show solidarity.

History of depression ... the apartment building where Lubitz lived. Picture: AFP/PATRIK STOLLARZ Source: AFP

"We cannot understand this pilot and why he did this," she said. "But we pray for the families, the victims and the pilot as well."

The father of one of the victims who visited a memorial near the crash site in the village of Le Vernet said airlines to take greater care over pilots' welfare.

Philip Bramley's 28-year-old son Paul died in the crash.

"I believe the airlines should be more transparent and our finest pilots looked after properly," Mr Bramley, from Hull in northern England said yesterday. "We put our lives and our children's lives in their hands. "What is relevant, is that it should never happen again; my son and everyone on that plane should not be forgotten, ever."

Lubitz had frequented a gliding club near the crash site as a child with his parents.

Knew him well ... Dieter Wagner, honorary member of the LSC Westerwald airfield, where Lubitz first learned to fly. Picture: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

According to Francis Kefer, a member of the club in the town of Sisteron about 50km from the crash site, Lubitz and other members of his German glider club visited the region regularly between 1996 and 2003.

When Lubitz crashed he would have flown over the peaks and major turning points for gliders that he would have done years earlier in his glider.

Boyhood dream to fly ... The LSC Westerwald aviation club where Lubitz was a member. Picture: AFP/Roberto Pfeil Source: AFP


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