Andreas Lubitz’s Facebook page reveals little about the 28-year-old co-pilot who prosecutors accused Thursday of deliberately crashing Germanwings Flight 9525 this week. Lubitz locked the flight commander out of the cockpit and steered the Airbus A320 into a high-speed collision with a remote region of the French Alps, authorities said.
Facebook already has “memorialized” Lubitz’s account through a service the website provides for friends and family of a deceased individual. The website adds the phrase “Remembering” before the person’s name to signify their death. “We will memorialize the Facebook account of a deceased person when we receive a valid request,” Facebook said on its “help center” page.
It’s unclear who requested that Facebook memorialize Lubitz’s account, or if the website enacted the feature at the request of authorities. The Daily Mirror, a British tabloid, suggests Lubitz’s friends or family were responsible for the request.
Lubitz’s Facebook account does not list his career, the schools he attended, contact information or family members. It does say he lived in Montabaur, Germany, as authorities previously reported. Few posts remain on his Facebook timeline, other than a few personal photos and a “Happy New Year” message dated Dec. 31, 2011. The account also lists 33 of Lubitz’s “likes,” which include Germanwings, Lufthansa, a site dedicated to the Airbus A320 and Goodyear Airport in Phoenix, where Lubitz had part of his training to become a Lufthansa-certified pilot.
Authorities have yet to announce a possible motive for Lubitz’s alleged actions. Lubitz began training for Lufthansa in 2008 and began working for Germanworks, a subsidiary of the German airline, in late 2013, Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr said at a press conference Thursday. Spohr acknowledged that Lufthansa had concluded Lubitz deliberately crashed Flight 9525 and said the pilot’s training was subject to an “interruption” six years ago. However, he said Lubitz had been considered fit to serve as a pilot.
“Six years ago there had been an interruption to his training. We checked his skills, his competence and he went back to training school. After that he was successful. He went through all of that with flying colors,” Spohr said. “He was fit in all areas, 100 percent.”
A member of LSC Westerwald, Lubitz’s flight club in Montabaur, described Lubitz as happy. "He was happy he had the job with Germanwings and he was doing well. He was very happy. He gave off a good feeling," club member Peter Ruecker told the Associated Press.
But former schoolmates and friends of Lubitz told German reporters he took a six-month leave from pilot training in 2009 due to a bout with depression, according to German news outlet Der Spiegel’s Matthias Gebauer.