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Germanwings pilot 'planned to marry pregnant girlfriend'

Rescue workers are dropped near debris from the crash
Rescue workers are dropped near debris from the crash

THE partner of the Germanwings co-pilot who crashed Flight 9525 into the French Alps was pregnant and the couple were apparently planning to get married, according to reports.

Andreas Lubitz, 27, was living with the unnamed 26-year-old woman in his Düsseldorf apartment up until the crash last Tuesday, Germany's Bild newspaper and Der Spiegel magazine reported.
 

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She worked as a teacher at an unnamed comprehensive school in the state of North Rhine Westfalia and Bild said she had told her pupils that she was pregnant. Lubitz had also recently ordered two new cars for them.

The woman - given the pseudonym, Sabine L, by Bild to protect her identity - visited the crash site last week, discovering on the way there that Lubitz had deliberately crashed the plane, killing himself and 149 others.

Andreas Lubitz
Andreas Lubitz Independent News and Media

Sabine was said to have met Lubitz when the two were school students doing holiday jobs at a hamburger restaurant. "Eventually they no longer kept their relationship a secret," the former manager was quoted as saying.

It is thought that Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane because he was deeply depressed and was being treated for vision problems that could have ended his flying career. Some sources suggested he was suffering from a detached retina.

The reports came as a transcript of the last voice recordings was revealed yesterday, which reveals that Lubitz urged the pilot to go to the toilet, leaving him alone in the cockpit. Passengers can be heard screaming uncontrollably for minutes before the crash, according to details published by Bild am Sonntag.

Over the course of the transcript, Lubitz can be heard telling Captain Patrick Sondheimer that he is ready to take over "any time".

As Capt Sondheimer orders Lubitz to prepare the plane for landing in Düsseldorf, Lubitz appears to give clues about what he is about to do, responding with "hopefully" and "let's wait and see". He then tells Capt Sondheimer: "You can go now".

Search and rescue personnel at the crash site of the Germanwings Airbus A320 in the French Alps
Search and rescue personnel at the crash site of the Germanwings Airbus A320 in the French Alps

Two minutes later, the Captain says, "you can take over now" and the sound of a cockpit seat sliding backwards is followed by the clicking of the cockpit door.

Shortly after, Lubitz puts the aircraft into descent mode. Air traffic controllers can then be heard trying to contact  the plane and the automatic "sink rate" alarm starts sounding.

Seconds later, there is thudding on the cockpit door. Capt Sondheimer can be heard shouting, "For God's sake open the door!" Behind him, passengers can be heard screaming.

Among the last sounds appear to be attempts by Capt Sondheimer to break down the door with the aircraft's emergency axe, as he shouts: "Open the goddam door."

But to no avail.

Shortly after, the plane's wing is heard scraping the side of a mountain. French officials have refused to confirm or deny the transcript.

Topics:  editors picks germanwings



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