The ex-girlfriend of Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot thought to have intentionally crashed an Airbus into the French Alps killing 150 people last Tuesday, has revealed that he previously made hints he would do something that would make "everyone know my name."
Speaking to the German Bild newspaper as cited by BBC, the woman, named only as Maria W., quoted him as telling her "one day I'm going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember."
According to recordings recovered from the blackbox of Flight 4U 9525, Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit as he set a course directly into the mountains.
Maria, herself a 26-year-old flight attendant who worked with Lubitz for five months last year, said she was "very shocked" by the crash, but had a hunch as to why he might have intentionally crashed the flight.
If he did it, she said, "it is because he understood that because of his health problems, his big dream of a job at Lufthansa, as captain and as a long-haul pilot was practically impossible."
Back in 2009 he stopped his pilot training due to suffering "depressions and anxiety attacks," according to Lufthansa medical files. After 18 months of treatment he returned to training, and qualified as a pilot "with flying colors" in 2013, reports Bild.
But Maria said they broke up "because it became increasingly clear that he had a problem," recalling how he frequently had nightmares and would sometimes wake up screaming "we're going down."
When the topic of his job of flying came up, she recalled "he became upset about the conditions we worked under: too little money, fear of losing the contract, too much pressure."
Investigators found evidence that Lubitz suffered a serious "psychosomatic illness," according to the German Die Welt, adding that he had been "treated by several neurologists and psychiatrists."
A number of medicines for mental illnesses were found at his home, but there was no evidence that he had a drug or alcohol addiction, it noted.
Another health issue revealed by officials cited in the New York Times was that Lubitz had been treated for eye problems as well, a serious matter for pilots.
Following the crash, the EU's European Aviation Safety Agency has called on all airlines to adopt new safety guidelines by which two crew members must always be present in the cockpit.