Germanwings co-pilot ‘lied’ to doctors about sick leave

Written By kom nampuldu on Kamis, 02 April 2015 | 20.49

The Germanwings co-pilot who crashed his plane into a French Alps mountainside, killing all 150 aboard, had taken a strong anti-anxiety medication and allegedly lied to his doctors – saying he was on sick leave when, in fact, he was flying commercial airliners, according to reports.

Andreas Lubitz, 27, who sought treatment for an eye condition, told doctors he was a Germanwings pilot but hid the fact that he was still flying, the German daily Bild reported Thursday, citing sources from the investigation.

Documents from the probe also showed that Lubitz was injured by the deployment of an airbag in a car crash at the end of 2014, the paper reported.

Since the accident, he had complained about trauma and vision problems.

Lubitz had mentioned that he was taking medication for depression, anxiety disorders and panic attacks, Bild reported – adding that he had been on the tranquilizer Lorazepam, known by brand name Ativan.

Lorazepam is so potent that patients are cautioned not to drive a car, let alone fly a commercial jetliner, the Daily Mail reported.

The medication also can increase the risk of self-harm, including suicide, at the beginning of treatment, medical experts say.

Germanwings parent Lufthansa has said that when Lubitz resumed pilot training in 2009 he provided medical documents showing he had suffered a "previous episode of severe depression."

Meanwhile, it was announced that a task force was being set up to address safety issues – including the cockpit door – and rooting out pilots suffering from mental-health problems, the paper reported.

Investigators are still trying to find out why Lubitz locked his captain out of their Airbus A320 cockpit before deliberately crashing into the mountain – possibly due to suicidal tendencies or fears his pilot's license would be pulled.

Alexander Dobrindt, the German transport minister, met Thursday with the German Aviation Association to discuss a response to the disaster, the Daily Mail reported.

In another development, investigators have found cell phones in the wreckage but they were yet to be examined.

Bild and French magazine Paris-Match have reported that they had seen cell phone video from the final seconds of the flight – in which passengers could be heard screaming – but investigators have refuted the reports.

With Post Wire Services


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