Tuesday 22 August 2017

'My son did not crash airliner on purpose'

Andreas Lubitz
Andreas Lubitz

James Rothwell in Berlin

The father of Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot who deliberately crashed his aircraft, killing 150 people, yesterday claimed his son was not responsible for the disaster.

An emotional Günther Lubitz told a press conference in Berlin his son was not depressed or suicidal at the time of the 2015 tragedy, as is widely believed. But he failed to produce the evidence he had promised that would clear his son's name.

Instead, he offered a new report commissioned by the family which picked holes in the official investigation and suggested a different sequence of events.

Rather than locking Capt Patrick Sondenheimer out of the cockpit and flying the Airbus into the French Alps, the 27-year-old co-pilot could have started a routine descent and then fallen unconscious at the controls, the report argued.

The official investigation found Lubitz repeatedly overrode an electronic keypad the captain used to try to unlock the cockpit door. But the report's author Tim van Beveran, a well-known aviation journalist, suggested the keypad could have malfunctioned.

Lawyers for the family said the official investigation had failed to prove Lubitz's guilt and called for it to be reopened. "We have to live with the fact we have not only lost our son, but that he was portrayed as a depressed mass murderer," his father said.

Irish Independent

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