The Slatest

Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz Sought Treatment for Vision Problems

Policemen stand in front of a memorial stone for the victims of the Germanwings Airbus flight near to the crash site on March 28, 2015 in Le Vernet, France.  

Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot believed to have deliberately slammed the Germanwings plane into the French Alps, had sought medical treatment for vision problems, German daily Bild and the New York Times reported Saturday. The problems “may have jeopardized his ability to continue working as a pilot” although it’s far from clear how serious the problems were and the possibility that they were psychosomatic has not been ruled out, reports the Times. It seems he did not tell airline officials about the issue.


Lubitz also appears to have kept from his employer that he suffered from a psychiatric disorder and was being treated “by several neurologists and psychiatrists,” according to a Bloomberg source. The Düsseldorf University Hospital refused to say whether Lubitz sought treatment there for vision problems. Earlier, the hospital had denied speculation that Lubitz had been treated for depression there.

As authorities try to piece together what may have happened the day of the crash, “the picture emerging of Lubitz is one of a man haunted, whose ambition to fly brought him both pleasure and torment,” points out the Washington Post. In his home town, he was hardly seen as a memorable man. “He was inconspicuous, normal, nice,” said the pastor at the Luther Church in Montabaur who taught Lubitz’s confirmation class.

Read more of Slate’s coverage of the Germanwings crash.