Police have searched the home of the Germanwings co-pilot who prosecutors claims deliberately crashed flight 4U9525 into a mountainside in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
Officers seized poessessions from the flat Andreas Lubitz, 27, owned in Dusseldorf and the house he shared with his parents in Montabaur for clues as to why he would decide to kill himself along with 149 others.
According to Der Spiegel, police discovered a clue at one of the properties that suggested the co-pilot suffered form a “psychological illness”, with other media reports theorising that Lubitz was depressed.
Germanwings flight 4U9525 was flying between Barcelona and Dusseldorf on Tuesday morning when it began descending rapidly over a period of eight minutes, and finally crashed into a mountainside near Dignes-les-Baines in southern France.
On Thursday, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said that the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) contained audio, which showed that Lubitz locked the pilot out of the cockpit, before changing the flight controls and destroying the plane by flying it into a mountain.
The pilot could be heard in the recording shouting at Lubitz and pleading with him to let him back into the cockpit. He reportedly attempted to break into the cockpit with an axe, but to no avail.
Lubitz was conscious up until the impact, but did not respond to numerous messages from air traffic control.
Since the revelations about Lubitz’s actions, the investigation has focused has moved from the mechanics of the Airbus A320 to the co-pilot’s background, political or economic motivations or stressors and mental state.
A number of airlines have pledged to update their guidelines in the wake of the crash to make sure that at least two cabin crew members are in the cockpit at all times, to avoid a similar situation in the future.
Cockpits were made more secure in the wake of 9/11 to prevent terrorists from taking over control of the aircraft, but that security also means that it is possible for those in the cockpit to also keep their colleagues out.