The Germanwings pilot who deliberately crashed into a mountain killing 150 people had to stop his training because he was suffering from depression and ‘burnout’, it emerged today.
Andreas Günter Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit before ploughing the Airbus A320 into the French Alps at more than 400mph.
The chilling final moments of the doomed jet were revealed by French prosecutors who said Lubitz’s sole aim was to ‘destroy the plane’.
It has since emerged that the 28-year-old was forced to postpone his pilot training in 2008 because of mental health problems, with a friend saying he was ‘in depression.’
The revelation will form a central part of the investigation and raises serious questions about why he was allowed to continue his training and whether enough was done to prevent the disaster.
Airline bosses confirmed Lubitz had taken several months off work and had to retrain to join the firm, but insisted he was ‘100% fit to fly’ after passing all medical tests.
It also emerged today that his parents only discovered that their son was a mass murderer just minutes before the bombshell press conference by prosecutors in Marseille.
His mother, a piano teacher, and father, a successful businessman, were understood to be in French city at the time of the announcement, but kept separate from the victims’ relatives.
Their whereabouts is now unknown, but it is believed they are being questioned by police.
German detectives have also raided the €500,000 (£400,000) family home in Montabaur, 40km from Bonn, as well as his apartment in Dusseldorf.
At an extraordinary press conference earlier, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin gave a disturbing account of the cockpit voice recordings extracted from black box.
He said Lubitz locked his captain out after the senior officer left the flight deck.
At that point, Lubitz used the flight managing system to put the plane into a descent, something that can only be done manually – and deliberately.