Germanwings Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz Looked up Suicide Methods, Cockpit Doors Before Crash

April 2, 2015 Last Updated: April 2, 2015

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot accused by investigators of crashing Germanwings Flight 9525, researched suicide methods and how the plane’s cockpit doors work just days before the incident.

Investigators analyzed a tablet computer used by Lubitz, and it shows he looked up suicide methods on the Internet before the crash last week in the French Alps, said the prosecutor’s office in Dusseldorf, Germany, according to Der Spiegel.

He also researched information on cockpit doors, spokesman Christoph Kumpa said, adding that the 27-year-old used the tablet from March 16 to March 23.

Lubitz is accused of locking the pilot of the plane out of the cockpit before slamming the passenger jet into a mountain at around 400 mph, killing all 150 people on board.

On Monday, prosecutors said Lubitz underwent psychotherapy several years ago due to suicidal tendencies. In 2009, he apparently told a flight training school he suffered a “previous episode of severe depression,” German airliner Lufthansa said in a statement Tuesday.

In this handout image provided by French Interior Ministry, the Rescue workers and gendarmerie continue their search operation near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 26, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. Germanwings flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf  has crashed in Southern French Alps. All 150 passengers and crew are thought to have died. (Photo by Francis Pellier MI DICOM/Ministere de l'Interieur/Getty Images)
In this handout from the French Interior Ministry, rescue workers and gendarmerie continue their search operation near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 26, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. (Francis Pellier MI DICOM/Ministere de l’Interieur/Getty Images)

French prosecutors said Thursday that the second black box recorder was found in the French Alps.

Investigators hope the second black box will reveal new details about how the plane went down.

The chief of the German Aviation Association, Klaus-Peter Siegloch, said there are issues about the confidentiality of pilots’ medical records.

“The confidence our pilots have in our medical doctors is of high importance,” he said, per CNN. “I believe if there is a lifting of doctor-patient confidentiality, then possibly pilots will not trust in medical doctors and that will make the situation worse.”

This week, two media outlets said their journalists saw a video that was purportedly taken on the Germanwings plane before it crashed.

However, the video has yet to surface online. The two outlets that reported on the video, Paris Match and Bild, did not give an explanation for the existence of the footage.

“There is this insatiable desire for instantaneous reporting,” Jane E. Kirtley, the director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota, told the New York Times. “We tend to feed the beast in that way, by passing along this stuff before it’s been verified, simply because someone else has reported it. I find that really troubling.”

Paris Match’s editor, Frédéric Helbert, said he saw the video, and he gave a detailed explanation of it on Wednesday.

“It was a very shocking video, harrowing. It is a video I saw, that several of us saw together, that we watched dozens of times. You must understand that this video does not allow us to identify any people, it is not a trashy video,” Helbert said. “It is from a passenger who filmed from the back of the plane. The sound is atrocious. It shows the human dimension of panic, distress, screaming people on board.”