Category Archives: Lufthansa

Germanwings’ Lubitz informed the Pilot School that he had a “previous episode of severe depression”, Lufthansa cancels its 60th Anniversary celebrations

Andreas Lubitz

Germanwings’ (2nd) (Cologne/Bonn) First Officer Andreas Lubitz “informed the Flight Training Pilot School in 2009, in the medical documents he submitted in connection with resuming his flight training, about a “previous episode of severe depression” according to a Lufthansa statement after an internal review. Despite this, Lubitz was deemed fit to fly after receiving his medical certificate.

Lufthansa has issued this full statement:

Lufthansa black logo

The co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U 9525 interrupted his pilot training at the Flight Training Pilot School for several months. Thereafter the co-pilot received the medical certificate confirming his fitness to fly.

To ensure a swift and seamless clarification, Lufthansa – after further internal investigations – has submitted additional documents to the Düsseldorf Public Prosecutor, particularly training and medical documents. These also include the email correspondence of the copilot with the Flight Training Pilot School. In this correspondence he informed the Flight Training Pilot School in 2009, in the medical documents he submitted in connection with resuming his flight training, about a “previous episode of severe depression”.

Lufthansa will continue to provide the investigating authorities with its full and unlimited support. We therefore ask for your understanding that we cannot provide any further statements at this time, because we do not wish to anticipate the ongoing investigation by the Düsseldorf Public Prosecutor.

As already confirmed last Thursday to the public the co-pilot held a fully valid class 1 medical certificate during flight duty on March 24, 2015.

In other news, Lufthansa is canceling its 60th Anniversary celebrations. The company issued this statement:

Out of respect for the crash victims of flight 4U 9525 Lufthansa is canceling the originally planned festivities for the 60th anniversary of the company, which was planned for April 15, 2015.

Instead of the originally planned anniversary event, Lufthansa will provide a live broadcast for its employees, of the official state ceremony in the Cologne Cathedral on the 17th of April 2015, where the bereaved families and friends will gather to remember the victims.

Photo: FO Andreas Lubitz from his Facebook page.

Lufthansa reverses course, will now adopt a “two person” cockpit rule

Lufthansa black logo

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has shifted its previous position and will now adopt a “two person” cockpit policy according to CNN for the entire Lufthansa Group. Yesterday in a press conference, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr stated he felt their current procedures were sufficient although he left open the possibility the group would discuss this policy with German authorities. While having a second person in the cockpit at all times is not the complete answer, it may have prevented the Germanwings tragic crash.

Lufthansa issued this statement:

In coordination with the Luftfahrtbundesamt (Germany’s aviation authority), the other German airlines and the German aviation industry association (Bundesverband der deutschen Luftverkehrswirtschaft), the airlines of the Lufthansa Group are to adopt a new cockpit occupancy procedure as a precautionary measure. Under the new procedure, two authorized persons must be present in the cockpit at all times during a flight.

The passenger airlines of the Lufthansa Group will adopt the new procedure as soon as possible, in due consultation with their national aviation authority.

The Lufthansa Group is also expanding its safety structures. In addition to the safety pilots at each of its member airlines, the new position of Group Safety Pilot has been created until further notice. The new post will be assumed with immediate effect by Captain Werner Maas, who will hold it in parallel with his current function as Safety Pilot of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Captain Maas will have overarching groupwide responsibility for examining and further refining all flight safety-relevant procedures in his new capacity, in which he reports directly to Group CEO Carsten Spohr.

Related to this, our informal poll yesterday showed our readers favored this change by almost a nine to one ratio. There was strong public pressure on Lufthansa (and other airlines) to make this change.

As we previously reported, Norwegian, easyJet and Air Malta have already made this change. Air Canada, WestJet, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Airberlin have also adopted this policy. Ryanair, following the lead of the FAA and U.S. airlines, already had this policy in place before the accident.

CNN’s interview with Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr:

 

Lufthansa CEO and Germanwings CEO: We are “speechless and shocked”

Germanwings #indeepsorrow

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr and Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann just held a press conference in Cologne, Germany. Both CEOs (translated from German) said they were “speechless” and “shocked” at the latest developments. CEO Spohr confirmed the French prosecutor’s conclusion that the First Officer (FO) Andreas Lubitz, 28, denied access to the cockpit to the Captain and intentionally activated the descent and crashed the Germanwings Airbus A320 into the mountain.

FO Lubitz began training in 2008 and was hired in September 2013 and had 630 hours flying time. FO Lubitz passed all flight and medical tests. FO Lubitz “interrupted” his training for unknown reasons (but this is not uncommon). Lufthansa Group pilots do not go through psychological testing.

According to Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, FO Andreas Lubitz was “100% fit to fly”. He continued, it remains a mystery and they have no idea why the FO would do this.

Andreas Lubitz

Above Photo: First Officer Andreas Lubitz on his Facebook page.

CEO Spohr also confirmed the pilot in the cockpit could override the code by keeping the door locked.

Unlike U.S. airlines, Lufthansa and Germanwings do not have a procedure to prevent a pilot from being alone in the cockpit. When asked if they would change their procedure to have a Flight Attendant enter the cockpit when one of the pilots leaves the cockpit, CEO Spohr said he did not see the need to change their current procedures but would review all of its cockpit procedures with experts.

Should European airlines have a “two person” cockpit rule? Please vote in the informal poll below:

 

Breaking News: Brice Robin: The Germanwings First Officer “accelerated the descent” in a “deliberate attempt to destroy the aircraft”

Germanwings #indeepsorrow

Brice Robin, Marseille Public Prosecutor, has just held a live press conference in Marseille (Marselles in English), France. According to the prosecutor, First Officer Andreas Lubitz, 28, a German citizen, intentionally locked the cockpit door and locked out the Captain. According to the prosecutor, the First Officer “accelerated the descent” to “deliberately attempt to destroy the aircraft”. The First Officer was heard to be breathing normally, eliminating the medical emergency theory.

Screams were heard by passengers at the end as the Airbus A320 slammed into the mountain.

150 people died in the tragic crash.

Since the accident is now an apparent crime, the BEA (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile), the Police and the Public Prosecutor will continue the investigation.

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New York Times: One Germanwings pilot was locked out of the cockpit before the crash

Germanwings #indeepsorrow

French investigators struggled according to the New York Times to explain why one Germanwings pilot was locked out of the cockpit before the tragic crash. French investigators announced this dramatic turn of factual events after reviewing the cockpit voice recorder. One pilot left the cockpit before the descent started. The locked-out pilot is heard banging on the door to attempt to gain entrance.

Lufthansa and Germanwings have not yet officially commented on this stunning report. French investigators did go further in trying to explain the odd actions.

A news conference is now scheduled for March 26.

New York Times logo

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The New York Times has published a follow-up report: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa has issued this statement:

Lufthansa will offer special flights to Marseille for the next of kin of flight 4U 9525 passengers.

Airline to provide two special flights from Barcelona and Dusseldorf to Marseille.
Lufthansa will provide two special flights to Marseille for the relatives and friends of passengers of Germanwings flight 4U 9525. The flights operated by Lufthansa on behalf of Germanwings will depart Dusseldorf en route to Marseille tomorrow at 8.40 CET and take off from Barcelona to Marseille at 8.45 CET. Relatives and friends will be taken care of by Lufthansa and Germanwings employees at a special assistance center in Marseille.

Germanwings and Lufthansa will continue to provide all the care and assistance needed by relatives and friends of passengers of flight 4U 9525 in this difficult situation.

French investigators reach the Germanwings crash site, all 150 dead, weather is an issue today

Germanwings #indeepsorrow

French investigators reached the rugged mountain crash site of Germanwings flight 4U 9525 late yesterday afternoon (March 24). All 150 people on board are dead including 67 Germans and 45 Spaniards. The remains of the crashed Airbus A320-211 D-AIPX (msn 147) is scattered on the mountainside in the French Alps as the airliner smashed into the mountain located between Digne and Barcelonnette, France.

None of the remains have been recovered due to the harsh weather conditions today. Snow is forecasted for the remote area today.

The priority today will be the recovery of the remains.

Lufthansa and Germanwings called for a minute’s silence today at 10.53 a.m. to commemorate the victims of 4U 9525.

According to Airbus, the ill-fated A320-211 (D-AIPX, msn 147) was “delivered to Lufthansa from the production line in 1991. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 58,300 flight hours in some 46,700 flights. It was powered by CFM 56-5A1 engines.”

According to CNN, “The cockpit voice recorder recovered from the crash site is damaged, but officials will be able to reconstruct it in the coming hours, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told French radio station RTL.”

The flight data recorder is reportedly still missing.

There was no distress call from the cockpit.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa, on behalf of its subsidiary Germanwings, issued this statement:

We must confirm to our deepest regret that Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf has suffered an accident over the French Alps. The flight was being operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft, and was carrying 144 passengers and six crew members.

Lufthansa and Germanwings have established a telephone hotline. The toll-free 00800 11 33 55 77 number is available to all the families of the passengers involved for care and assistance.
Everyone at Germanwings and Lufthansa is deeply shocked and saddened by these events. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew members.

“We do not know exactly what happened to Flight 4U 9525. Our thoughts are now with all the relatives and friends of our passengers and crew. We will do everything possible in order to provide further information.”

Carsten Spohr

Meanwhile, Lufthansa’s pilots have called off for now any further strikes against Lufthansa or Germanwings.

Video: Raw footage of the crash site:

 

Germanwings Airbus A320 crashes in the French Alps, 150 on board

 

Germanwings (2nd) (Cologne/Bonn) flight 4U 9525 with 144 passengers (including two infants) and six crew members on board (numbers updated) has crashed in the rugged French Alps (near Digne-les-Bains and the Grenoble Airport) at approximately 6,500 fleet and around 1037 local time. The pictured Airbus A320-211 D-AIPX (msn 147) was being operated on the flight between Barcelona and Dusseldorf. The flight had descended 14,000 feet in six minutes. No distress call was sent by the crew (correcting previous statements by the media). French radar contact was then lost at 1053. The airliner apparently slammed into the mountain according to flight tracking services.

Debris has been cited by a helicopter in the mountainous terrain and survivors are “not likely”. Human remains are tragically scattered over the crash site. The debris field is contained in about four acres and there is no piece larger than a car. It is difficult to get to the remote crash scene and retrieve the bodies and parts of D-AIPX. The flight data recorder has been sighted in the debris.

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Lufthansa stated on Twitter (the two logos have changed to black in respect for the dead):

“…on 4U 9525. If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors.“ Carsten Spohr 2/2

Lufthansa later issued this statement:

We must confirm to our deepest regret that Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf has suffered an accident over the French Alps. The flight was being operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft, and was carrying 144 passengers and six crew members.

Lufthansa and Germanwings have established a telephone hotline. The toll-free 00800 11 33 55 77 number is available to all the families of the passengers involved for care and assistance.

Everyone at Germanwings and Lufthansa is deeply shocked and saddened by these events. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew members.

According to CNN:

A Germanwings Airbus A320 plane crashed Tuesday in the foothills of the Alps in southeastern France, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told reporters.

Valls said he fears those aboard the flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany — 142 passengers and six crew members — may be dead. A short time later, Germanwings executives said that there were at least 150 people aboard, 144 of whom were passengers.

French President Francois Hollande also said no survivors were expected. The plane crashed near Digne-les-Bains, in the Alpes de Haute Provence region, Valls said.

“The conditions of the accident are not yet clear but lead us to believe there will be no survivors,” Hollande said.

Spanish King Felipe VI said there was a “high number of Spaniards, Germans and Turks” on the doomed Germanwings flight.

Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s Prime Minister, tweeted that he will return to Madrid, put together a “crisis team” and send a minister to France.

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Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Read the full report from the BBC: CLICK HERE

We will continue to update as news is received. Updated 1235 EDT.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Ill-fated Airbus A320-211 D-AIPX (msn 147) departs from Tenerife Sur before the tragic crash in the French Alps. The airliner was originally delivered new to Lufthansa February 5, 1991.

Below Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. D-AIPX when it was with Lufthansa.

Google Map: The A320 crashed near Digne-les-Bains, France.

Germanwings 4U 9525 map copy