The Slatest

Lufthansa Says It Wasn’t Required to Report Pilot’s Depression

Andreas Lubitz participates in the Airport Hamburg 10-mile race on September 13, 2009 in Hamburg, Germany.  

Photo by Getty Images

Lufthansa pushed back on Monday, insisting it was not required to report to aviation authorities that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had suffered from depression because he qualified as a pilot before stricter rules were put in place in 2013. Lubitz, who is believed to have deliberatedly crashed a Germanwings plane with 150 people on board, had told the airline he had experienced “severe depression” in 2009, notes the Associated Press. But he then passed all the appropriate tests.

How much Lufthansa knew about Lubitz’s psychiatric problems, and whether the airline failed to inform the relevant authorities, are likely to be key factors in the airline’s liability for the crash, reports Reuters. The German aviation authority, the Luftfahrtbundesamt, said on Sunday it had “no information at all” about Lubitz’s depression.

The revelation comes a day after Europe’s air safety regulator said it had found more than 10 incidents in which Germany did not fulfill all the medical requirements relating to pilots and airline crew in general. “The exact nature remains confidential, but there were several findings, more than 10 in the last few years, in the aero-medical domain,” Dominique Fouda, a spokesman for EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, said on Sunday, according to Bloomberg.

In the run-up to the crash, Lubitz used the username “Skydevil” to search for information on cockpit security, reports the Independent, which cites German media. Bild am Sonntag said the name, which was in English, could be a reference to a 1932 movie called Sky Devils.