Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager

Co-pilot suspected of downing Airbus A320 filmed smiling as he takes off in glider

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The Independent Online

New video footage of Andreas Lubitz shows the co-pilot learning to fly almost ten years before the deadly Germanwings crash.

The co-pilot is seen as a teenager smiling as he takes off in a glider in footage obtained by ITV.

French prosecutors suspect the 27-year-old of “intentionally” descending the plane into the French Alps, killing himself and the 149 passengers and crew on board.

The footage emerged as excerpts of the transcript from the Airbus A320’s cockpit voice recorder were released, which reportedly revealed the plane’s Captain Patrick Sondheimer shouted at Lubitz to “open the damn door” as the plane began its descent.

It is thought that Lubitz was suffering with depression and had sought treatment for problems with his vision. Reports say he may have had a detached retina, which, if left untreated, can result in blindness in the affected eye. The French newspaper Le Figaro quotes a French security source as claiming his sight had been already reduced “by at least 30 per cent”.

A member of his local flying school said on Saturday he was familiar with the French Alps and was even “obsessed” with the region.

Dieter Wagner said Lubitz flew a glider over the southern French Alps several years ago, where he was on holiday with the school at the time. German media also report that Lubitz’s partner is pregnant and only discovered what he had apparently done as she travelled to the crash site last week.

On Friday, a former girlfriend claimed he told her he was receiving psychiatric treatment and would wake up from nightmares screaming “we’re going down!”

On Sunday, reports in German media claimed parts of his body may have been recovered from the crash site on Sunday. Investigators have denied this claim.

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