“Open the Damn Door,” Germanwings Pilot Had Said to Lubitz

Transcripts from the black box of the Germanwings plane show the pilot begged Lubitz to open the cockpit door seconds before the crash. 

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World
2 min read
Teams go through debris from the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps. (Photo: PTI)

The co-pilot suspected of crashing a passenger jet in the Alps may have been suffering from a detached retina but investigators are unsure whether his vision problems had physical or psychological causes, a German newspaper said on Sunday.

Bild am Sonntag also reported how the captain of the Germanwings Airbus had screamed “open the damn door!” to the co-pilot as he tried to get back into the locked cockpit before the jet crashed last Tuesday, killing all 150 on board.

Another German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, quoted a senior investigator as saying the 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz “was treated by several neurologists and psychiatrists” and that a number of medications had been found in his apartment.

Police also discovered personal notes that showed Lubitz suffered from “severe subjective over-stress symptoms”, he added. Lufthansa, the parent company of the budget airline, said the carrier was unaware of a psychosomatic or any other illness affecting Lubitz.

“We have no information of our own on that,” a Lufthansa spokesman said. A spokesman for state prosecutors in Duesseldorf declined to comment on Sunday on the various media reports, adding there would be no official statement before Monday.

“For God’s Sake”

Investigators have retrieved cockpit voice recordings from one of the A320 jet’s “black boxes”, which they say show Lubitz locked himself alone in the cockpit, before causing the jet to crash in southern France.

Bild am Sonntag reported that the voice recorder data showed that the locked-out captain said to his colleague inside the cockpit: “For God’s sake, open the door.” The pilot can then be heard trying to smash the door down.

The newspaper also reported that Lubitz’s girlfriend, a teacher at a secondary school in a small town near Dusseldorf, had recently told students she was expecting a baby. On Saturday, Bild published an interview with a woman who said she had a relationship with Lubitz in 2014 and that he told her about planning a spectacular gesture so “everyone will know my name and remember it”.

“Some (experts) speculated without any facts, fantasised and lied. That makes a mockery of the victims,” Tom Enders was quoted as saying by Bild am Sonntag.

Berlin aims to review safety rules for airlines in cooperation with the industry. Several airlines, including Lufthansa, have changed their rules since the crash and now require two crew members in the cockpit at all times, a measure already mandatory in the United States but not in Europe.

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