The Federal Aviation Administration initially declined to issue Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz a "medical certificate" in 2010 because of concerns about his history of depression, agency documents say. A great deal of evidence indicates Lubitz intentionally crashed Flight 4U 9525 in France on 24 March 2015, killing himself and all 149 others aboard.
In 2010, Lubitz applied for a medical certificate he needed in order to participate in a Lufthansa training program in Arizona. (Lufthansa owns Germanwings.)
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The FAA medical certification division wrote to Lubitz, saying that they were “unable to establish your eligibility to hold an airman medical certification at this time,” according to a letter dated 8 July 2010. Because of his history of depression, the agency requested a “current detailed status report from your prescribing physician.”It's not precisely clear how the FAA became aware of Lubitz' history of depression; a copy of his online application in the FAA's documents answers "no" to a question about whether he had suffered from past mental health disorders, but another copy of the same questionnaire is marked "yes". Current and former FAA officials suggested to The Times and CNN that Lubitz may have checked "no" before visiting an airline-affiliated medical examiner who also had access to the online form, and who changed the answer to "yes."
Lubitz was not denied the certificate outright, and was told to get back in touch with the agency within thirty days.
On 28 July 2010, his request was granted, with the warning: “Because of your history of reactive depression, operation of aircraft is prohibited at any time new symptoms or adverse changes occur, or any time medication and/or treatment is required.”
Some reports have said Lubitz was being treated for depression at the time of this year's crash, but a hospital where he's reported to have sought treatment denied that he had been seen there for depression-related issues. Lubitz does not appear to have informed Lufthansa of any mental or physical health issues he may have experienced in the months before the crash.