Andreas Lubitz, Germanwings Co-Pilot, Feared Going Blind Prior To Fatal Crash
Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings pilot believed to have intentionally crashed Germanwings Flight 4U9525, reportedly feared he was going blind and was told by doctors that he was unfit to fly.
Andreas Lubitz Feared Going Blind
Lubitz, 27, killed 150 people on board the Germanwings flight by crashing the plane into the French Apls on March 24, 2015. In the aftermath of the crash, it was uncovered that Lubitz suffered from severe depression and had torn up a doctor’s note excusing him from work on the day of the crash.
On Thursday, June 11, French prosecutor Brice Robin revealed that in the month prior to the crash, Lubitz met with several doctors seven separate times – three times with a psychiatrist. Lubitz was reportedly incredibly worried about his vision, though doctors found no “organic” cause for any vision problems. Lubitz allegedly told doctors he saw flashing lights and had intense anxiety about the possibility of going blind, which would have ended his career as a pilot.
“I believe deep down he knew that if his employers knew about his eyesight loss… then he would lose his license and since [flying] was his main objective in life, the idea was unbearable to him,” Robin said in a press conference.
Robin added that it is possible Lubitz’s vision problems were psychological, and Germanwings has confirmed that Lubitz was clear to fly and had passed all his recent medical tests.
According to a report, two weeks prior to the crash, Lubitz revealed to a doctor that he had doubled his dose of antidepressants to help him cope with his extreme anxiety and sleeplessness. Robin told reporters that doctors who treated Lubitz believed he was unfit to work, but were unable to reach out to his employers “because of medical secrecy requirements.”
German doctors are not allowed to disclose private medical information to others unless they believe the patient is at risk of harming themselves or others, and it would appear that none of them believed Lubitz fit these criteria. However, Robin stated that some of Lubitz’s doctors have reported that “he gave them the impression that he was psychologically unstable.”
French Prosecutor: Manslaughter Investigation
In addition to Lubitz’s fear of going blind, Robin also disclosed that the investigation into Lubitz is now officially considered a manslaughter investigation after it was determined that Lubitz was solely responsible. It is unclear who might face charges as a result of the investigation, as Robin told reporters that they cannot prosecute Lubitz under French law and there is insufficient evidence to press charges against Germanwings or their parent company Lufthansa.
“French law doesn’t allow the prosecutor to prosecute the co-pilot for voluntary homicide because he is dead – even though authorities have determined that he voluntarily and possibly with premeditation crashed the plane killing all aboard,” Robin said.