The chief prosecutor of Germanwings flight 4U9525 has identified the co-pilot responsible for Tuesday's plane crash as Andreas Lubitz, a German native.
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said Lubitz locked the door to the cockpit after the flight's captain got up to use the bathroom. Lubitz then reportedly activated the plane's descent and refused to answer the captain's pleas to be let back into the cockpit.
In the minutes leading up to the plane's crash, Lubitz can be heard breathing but not speaking, according to new information obtained from the cockpit recording.
Lubitz has no known ties to terrorist organizations and had passed all of his tests, according to reports.
"The co-pilot qualified as a pilot in 2008. He first worked as a steward and then became a first officer in 2013," Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said.
But he took a break in 2009 for unknown reasons. A former classmate of Lubitz's said the co-pilot paused his training because of a "burnout" or "depression," but those allegations were unconfirmed as of Thursday afternoon.
"He took a break in his training six years ago," Spohr said. "Then he did the tests again. And he was deemed fit to fly."
Lubitz reportedly received his student license in 2010. He obtained his private pilot's license in 2012, and began working for Germanwings in 2013.
He had logged 630 flight hours the day of the crash. The flight's captain had logged 6,000 hours, according to flight documents.
Lubitz reportedly lived with his parents in Montabaur, but had a residence in Dusseldorf, which was to be the final destination of flight 4U9525.
"It is and remains important that further inquiries take place and that every aspect is further investigated," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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