The Daily Telegraph

My son was not a killer, says Germanwing­s pilot’s father

- By Justin Huggler in Berlin

THE father of Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwing­s co-pilot who deliberate­ly crashed his aircraft killing 150 people, yesterday claimed his son was not responsibl­e for the disaster.

An emotional Günther Lubitz told a press conference in Berlin his son was not depressed or suicidal at the time of the 2015 tragedy, as is widely believed.

But he failed to produce the evidence he had promised that would clear his son’s name. Instead, he offered a new report commission­ed by the family which picked holes in the official investigat­ion and suggested a different sequence of events.

It claimed that rather than locking Capt Patrick Sondenheim­er out of the cockpit and flying the Airbus into the French Alps, the 27-year-old co-pilot could have started a routine descent and then fallen unconsciou­s at the controls.

“I know you would like an alternativ­e accident scenario, but I do not know what happened on board the Germanwing­s aircraft,” Tim van Bev- eran, a well-known aviation journalist who wrote the report, said. “I can only offer new possible explanatio­ns.”

The official investigat­ion found that Lubitz repeatedly overrode an electronic keypad the captain used to try to unlock the cockpit door.

But Mr van Beveran, suggested the keypad could have malfunctio­ned. He had received informatio­n that the keypad on the plane in question was faulty and that flight crew had been unable to use it to enter the cockpit on the ground just two days before the disaster, he said.

Lawyers for the family said the official investigat­ion had failed to prove Lubitz’s guilt and called for it to be reopened.

“We have to live with the fact that we have not only lost our son, but that he was portrayed as a depressed mass murderer two days later,” Lubitz’s father, the emotion showing on his face, told the packed press conference.

Mr Lubitz admitted his son suffered a serious episode of depression in 2008 and 2009, but claimed he had recovered. But when he was asked directly whether he believed his son was innocent, Mr Lubitz twice failed to answer, instead replying: “We are looking for the truth.”

 ??  ?? Günther Lubitz insisted his son Andreas had not crashed the jet, but failed to provide direct evidence
Günther Lubitz insisted his son Andreas had not crashed the jet, but failed to provide direct evidence

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