Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot who appeared to intentionally crash an airliner into a French mountainside on Tuesday, killing himself and 149 people on board, was being treated for a medical condition he apparently concealed from his employer, Lufthansa AG, German prosecutors said Friday.
The prosecutor said evidence collected in a search of the 27-year-old’s Düsseldorf apartment on Thursday didn’t uncover a suicide note or any indication of a political or religious motive for his apparent decision to crash the plane.
“However, documents were confiscated that contained medical information indicating an existing medical treatment,” the Düsseldorf prosecutor said in a statement.
Documents in the apartment showed Mr. Lubitz received a note from his doctor excusing him from work for a period covering the day of the incident, according to the statement. Other such notes were also found.
“The fact that [such documents] were found, including sickness notes that were torn up, still valid, and that covered the day of the act, supports…the assumption that the deceased had concealed his condition from his employer and colleagues,” the prosecutor said. The statement didn’t provide details on the medical condition.
Germany’s Federal Aviation Office also said Friday that the co-pilot had a medical condition requiring regular checks, according to his pilot’s medical certificate. It wasn’t clear whether this related to the condition affecting Mr. Lubitz most recently.
A spokesman for the agency couldn’t say whether the record’s “specific regular medical examination,” also known as the SIC, related to his mental or physical health as the information was confidential.
“We have a pilot license and a medical certificate. There is a SIC record,” the office’s spokesman, Holger Kasperski, told The Wall Street Journal. “SIC means specific regular examination. We don’t know what [condition] it refers to.”
Lead French prosecutor Brice Robin said on Thursday he suspected Mr. Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit, programmed the A320’s descent and slammed it into an alpine ridge at 400 miles an hour, showing “willingness to destroy this aircraft.”
Mr. Lubitz’s motive for crashing the plane remain unclear. People who knew him described him as quiet, pleasant and responsible, and Lufthansa said it had no indication why he would have deliberately crashed the aircraft. People who saw him recently said he didn’t appear burdened.