Original post from NBC News
The Germanwings co-pilot suspected of deliberately downing his plane in the French Alps practiced entering crash settings in the aircraft’s systems on the previous flight the same day, investigators said.
A preliminary report from French investigators released Wednesday said co-pilot Andreas Lubitz set the altitude dial on the Airbus A320 to 100 feet five times while alone in the cockpit en route from Dusseldorf to Barcelona on March 24.
Cockpit voice recordings suggested that Lubitz, 27, locked the captain out of the cockpit during a bathroom break and steered Flight 4U9525 into a mountainside while returning from Barcelona to Dusseldorf on March 24. The captain can be heard on the recordings demanding to be let back in and trying to break down the door.
Lubitz had been treated for depression in the past and a search of his home revealed he had researched suicide methods on his tablet computer days before the crash. Investigators also found torn-up sick notes.
The Federal Aviation Administration awarded Lubitz a U.S. pilot license in 2010despite concerns about his mental fitness.
Records posted online show he applied in 2010 while he was employed by Lufthansa and training at a flight school in Phoenix. As part of the application, he initially submitted a medical form to the FAA asserting he had no mental disorders. He then resubmitted the form acknowledging he had been treated for severe depression from 2008 to 2009.
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