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Why would a 28-year-old co-pilot intentionally crash his plane, killing 150 people?

J.D. Heyes

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Marech 27, 2015

(NaturalNews) In one of the most bizarre incidents regarding air travel since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 last year, investigators are puzzled as to why a 28-year-old commercial airline pilot would intentionally crash a plane filled with passengers into the French Alps, a sure death.

In particular, serious questions are being raised about why Andreas Gunter Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot who locked the plane's other pilot out of the cockpit shortly before he intentionally crashed the Airbus A320 earlier this week, was even permitted to fly.

As reported by Britain's Daily Mail, Lubitz may have been suffering from some mental health issues; the paper noted that he previously had to stop his flight training because he was depressed and suffering from "burnout."

In all, 150 people perished in the crash, the latest in a series of airline disasters starting last year that have ranged from the mysterious, in the case of MH370, to tragic, in the case of the intentional downing of another Malaysia Airlines jet over war-torn eastern Ukraine.

And now this. As reported by the Nigeria Daily News in an article written for the Daily Mail:

The chilling final moments of the doomed jet were revealed by French prosecutors who said Lubitz's sole aim was to 'destroy the plane'.

It has since emerged that he was forced to postpone his pilot training in 2008 because of mental health problems, with a friend saying he was 'in depression.'

"100% fit to fly"

Analysts believe that that finding will become key to understanding Lubitz's motivation as the investigation into the incident proceeds, as it is already raising questions about why he was allowed to fly at all and whether the incident would have ever happened had he been grounded.

The Mail said that Germanwings officials have confirmed that the troubled co-pilot had stepped away from his job for several months and had to retrain in order to rejoin the airline, but they insisted that he was "100% fit to fly" after passing a battering of medical testing.

"It also emerged today that his parents only discovered that their son was a mass murderer just minutes before the bombshell press conference by prosecutors in Marseille [France]," the paper reported.

What is patently clear at this time, however, is that the entire incident was calculated.

"At this moment, in light of investigation, the interpretation we can give at this time is that the co-pilot through voluntary abstention refused to open the door of the cockpit to the commander, and activated the button that commands the loss of altitude," said the chief French prosecutor investigating the crash, Brice Robin.

He added that it appeared as though Lubitz's entire objective was to simply "destroy the aircraft."

So far, officials have ruled out the crash as an act of terrorism -- which of course, may be an attempt to simply avoid massive financial losses within the airline industry (which took a major economic hit in the U.S. after the 9/11 attacks). But the Times did report further that Lubitz, who was German, was not known to police and at least for now has no known ties to terrorist groups.

Searching for answers

The flight was heading to Dusseldorf, Germany, from Barcelona, Spain. Robin said investigators had a full transcript of the final 30 minutes of conversation from the cockpit voice recorder.

"During the first 20 minutes, the pilots talk normally," Robin said, adding they spoke in a "cheerful" and "courteous" way. "There is nothing abnormal happening," he noted.

The transcript indicates that the pilot -- named by local media as German father-of-two Patrick Sonderheimer, according to the Mail -- was preparing a briefing for landing in Dusseldorf, but Lubitz's response was curt. The commanding pilot then asks Lubitz to take over, and investigators hear the noise of a seat backing up and a door closing.

"At this stage, the co-pilot is in control, alone," Robin said. "It is when he is alone that the co-pilot manipulates the flight monitoring system to activate the descent of the plane." The prosecutor said that such an action could only have been "voluntary."

The pilot can eventually be heard pounding on the cockpit door to get back in, but Lubitz -- heard calmly breathing until the end -- refused to open the door.

Air traffic controllers can be heard attempting to contact the plane, and passengers can be heard screaming in the background.