Andreas Guenter Lubitz – The Slider of GermanWings
The co-pilot responsible for the Germanwings plane crash was today named as Andreas Guenter Lubitz.
The 28-year-old was from Montabaur, a town in the district seat of the Westerwaldkreis in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, according to a local flight club.
Acquaintances said he was in his late 20s and showed no signs of depression when they saw him last autumn.
His Facebook page lists his interests, including German electronica band Schiller, French superstar DJ David Guetta, his local Burger King, 10-pin bowling, aviation humor and a technical website about the A320 model of aircraft he flew into a mountainside.
Today, at the house believed to be his parents’, the curtains were drawn and four police cars were parked outside.
“He was happy he had the job with Germanwings and he was doing well,” said a member of a glider club, Peter Ruecker, who watched him learn to fly.
“He gave off a good feeling.”
Ruecker said Lubitz had a girlfriend but did not have many more details about his life.
Lubitz had obtained his glider pilot’s license as a teenager and was accepted as a Lufthansa pilot trainee after finishing a tough German college preparatory school, Mr Ruecker said.
He described Lubitz as a “rather quiet” but friendly young man.
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said the co-pilot “never said a word” in the 10 minutes before the crash, which killed 150 people.
He said he never answered a question or opened the door before the plane hit the ground and the plane’s descent was “voluntary”.
The Federal Aviation Administration praised Lubitz’s skills and included him in the prestigious FAA Airmen Certification Database.
The database contains the names certified pilots who have “met or exceeded the high educational, licensing and medical standards established by the FAA”.
Aviation Business Gazette announced the award in September 2013, writing: “Pilot certification standards have evolved over time in an attempt to reduce pilot errors that lead to fatal crashes.
“FAA pilot certification can be the difference between a safe flight and one that ends in tragedy.
The highest level of certification is the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, which is required to fly a commercial airliner.
To obtain it, pilots must possess a commercial pilot license, have more than 1500 hours of experience in aircraft and be at least 21. They are also required to pass a physical examination.
Lubitz’s medical was done in 2010 and was due to run out in June 2015. He had undertaken 630 hours of flight time in an A320, according to Germany’s Bild.
Mr Brice said earlier that co-pilot Lubitz directed the plane into the ground but the passengers only realised what was happening “in the last moments”.
“He took this action, for reasons we still don’t know why,” he said.
“We can only deduce he destroyed the plane. He voluntarily allowed the plane to lose altitude.
“I think the victims only realized at the last moment because on the recording you only hear the screams on the last moments.”