Guenter Lubitz, the father of Germanwings co-pilot who slammed his plane into the French Alps in 2015 killing all 150 people on board, now claims his son did not crush the jet deliberately and, apparently, has evidence to back it up.
Bereaved relatives are furious that the father of the distressed pilot will be using the second anniversary of the disaster to clear his son’s name. Mr. Lubitz even commissioned “an internationally recognized aerospace expert” with a background of researching toxic fumes in aircraft cabins, who will present his findings during the Friday anniversary.
In a letter to German media released yesterday, Mr. Lubitz wrote: “To this day, the story of the depressive co-pilot who intentionally and with suicidal intent flew the plane into a mountain has been maintained. We are firmly convinced this is not true.”
It is commonly believed that Andreas Lubitz, 27, deliberately crashed the Germanwings Airbus A320 into the mountains while flying between Barcelona and Düsseldorf. Evidence suggests he locked the cockpit door to prevent the return of the captain from a break and set the navigation controls into a dive.
Mr Lubitz has hired a journalist and film-maker Tim van Beveren, who has written extensively about fumes in aircraft cabins, to help prove his son’s innocence. In 2015 van Beveren made a film called Unfiltered Breathed In — The Truth About Aerotoxic Syndrome, which studied the case of Richard Westgate, a British Airways pilot who supposedly died after exposure to fumes in the cockpit.
The official inquiry into 2015’s Germanwings crash concluded that “the collision with the ground was due to the deliberate and planned action of the co-pilot who decided to commit suicide while alone in the cockpit”.
The report also noted that Lubitz “suffered from a mental disorder with psychotic symptoms” and was prescribed antidepressants and sleeping pills but hid this from official medical examiners.
After his death, it came to light that Lubitz had been experiencing suicidal thoughts and had been declared unfit for work by his doctor – a fact he concealed from his employer.
The prosecution office in Düsseldorf has rejected any suggestion that the findings of the original investigation are wrong. A spokesman said: “There is no doubt at all that Andreas Lubitz bears sole responsibility for the crash.”