Monday, March 30, 2015

Report: Germanwings Co-Pilot Surfed Gay Porn and Suicide Websites Before Crash

By John Hayward 

The picture of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz’ troubled state of mind grows more complex with the revelation, reported by International Business Timesthat investigators have discovered that Lubitz “trawled the dark side of the web visiting, among other things, sites containing gay porn, suicide themes and sexual perversions.” This sheds new light on a seemingly minor detail from early reports: other pilots teased Lubitz by calling him “Tomato Andy” because he worked as a flight attendant before becoming a pilot. According to IBT, this was not merely an insulting reference to the food and beverage duties of a flight attendant; “Tomato” is an anti-gay slur in Germany, “based on the fact that while a tomato is thought to be a vegetable, it is really a fruit.”
The report also says officials discovered a diary in the co-pilot’s Dusseldorf apartment, in which he “wrote of his fears that he would be ‘found out’ and lose his job.” This is evidently a reference to his medical problems, judging by the direct quote from the diary provided by IBT: “I have too much work and I am not able to do my job properly.”
It should be noted that International Business Times appears to be the only English-language source for the information about Lubitz’ web-surfing history, at the time of this writing; other references to the matter all seem to link back to IBT and its source in the Dusseldorf police. As of Monday morning, most other reports seemed confident that Lubitz’ diary had not been found yet. Reports on the co-pilot’s background have been tricky to follow because, outside of major public press conferences from French and German officials, media in the U.S. and Britain are generally relaying translated reports from German publications, which seem to have a variety of different off-the-record sources in various law-enforcement entities.
Other reports have suggested Lubitz was under pressure because a vision-related medical condition may have been on the verge of ending his piloting career, and his girlfriend was pregnant. Dusseldorf University Hospital confirmed that they treated him on March 10, but would not clarify what the treatment was for, beyond saying that it wasn’t related to his depression.
The IBT report also considerably ups the ante on the psychiatric treatment Lubitz was receiving, claiming that a “small mountain” of antidepressant drugs was discovered in his apartment. This would suggest he was either receiving far more extensive treatment than previously revealed, or he was stockpiling his drugs instead of taking them.
New York Daily News relays a report from the French Le Parisien that two men from Lubitz’ flight club say he was “passionate about the Alps, even obsessed,” having flown over them in a glider. If true, this could help explain why he chose this particular flight for a suicide plunge.

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