Friends of Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz say he is being framed as a murderer in the plane crash that killed 150 on board a flight last week from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany. His supporters have established a Facebook page titled (in German) “Andreas Lubitz A320, we are against the hunt” to share their theories about the causes of the March 24 crash in the French Alps, the Daily Mail reported. Several commenters on the page have said investigators' statements that Lubitz, 27, intentionally crashed the plane are part of a cover-up by Germanwings parent company Lufthansa to hide mechanical issues that may have resulted in the crash.
Some of the Facebook page’s hundreds of followers have suggested the black box voice recorder recovered at the crash site had been tampered with by Lufthansa. Commentators also pointed out that a second data recorder had not turned up at the crash site, claiming more proof of a cover-up by Lufthansa.
The Facebook campaign comes as Lufthansa canceled plans Tuesday to celebrate the airline's 60th anniversary. "Out of respect for the crash victims of flight 4U9525, Lufthansa is canceling the festivities for the 60th anniversary of the company, which were planned for April 15," the airline said in a statement reported by Agence France-Presse.
Data extracted from the voice recorder last week reportedly demonstrates how senior pilot Patrick Sonderheimer tried to re-enter the cockpit after being locked out by Lubitz. The recordings revealed a conversation between Sonderheimer and Lubitz -- shortly after the flight took off from Barcelona for Düsseldorf -- during which Lubitz encouraged the senior pilot to use the toilet. Other sections of the recording contain sounds of Lubitz's steady breathing leading up to the crash.
Prosecutors, who have said that Lubitz set the plane on a collision course with a mountain while Sonderheimer tried to knock down the door, also have detailed other aspects of Lubitz's medical history. Lubitz allegedly broke off his training six years ago due to depression and spent over a year in psychiatric treatment, a German newspaper reported on Friday. On the day of the crash, investigators found a torn-up sick note that declared Lubitz unfit for work.
He reportedly had been seeking treatment for a vision problem that could have ended his career. Antidepressants were found in the co-pilot's home, which had been prescribed to treat a serious “psychosomatic illness." No suicide note has been found, but investigators have said that Lubitz's girlfriend remembered a conversation they had in which he talked about doing "something that will change the whole system, and then all will know my name and remember it.”
Many of the Facebook page’s followers reportedly are from Lubitz's home of Montabaur, Germany, and surrounding areas, the Daily Mail reported. One Lubitz supporter who claimed to be a former classmate said, “I believe in the innocence of Andy!”