Father of US Germanwings crash victim remembers his sonIBTimes UK

The father of an American victim in the French Alps plane crash spoke on Thursday (26 March) about the loss of his 37-year old son who left behind his wife and two children.

Robert Tansill Oliver is a 73-year-old retired English teacher born in New York who has lived in Barcelona since 1966.

His son Robert Oliver Calvo, aged 37, was born in Barcelona but was an American citizen. He worked for the Barcelona-based clothing company Desigual.

Asked about newspaper reports covering what might have happened to the plane, Oliver said he prefers to focus on facts and try to look forward to the future.

"All fathers and mothers, families who have lost a loved one, a son, a daughter, a loved one, to death, I'd encourage them to not focus on those last 10 minutes, the final crash. I'd like to encourage them to think about the wonderful years that they have enjoyed of life together, those wonderful moments, happy moments with the family, with friends, the name, their reputation, think about the good moments, the wonderful moments, and of course think about the future," he said.

"The theories, the speculation, the hypotheses, we'll have to wait and see when the facts are discovered and then we can, and then we can feel them out," he said.

The interview was conducted moments before a French prosecutor said Andreas Lubitz, the 28-year-old German co-pilot of the Germanwings airliner which crashed in the French Alps killing all 150 people aboard, appears to have brought down the Airbus A320 with the intent to destroy it.

Oliver said he and his wife chose not travel to the crash site in France, where the plane came down during its flight between Barcelona and Dusseldorf, because they were told by authorities that they would not be able to see a body or any belongings of the victims just yet.

"We would have liked to have gone, but upon receiving information in French channels, channels here in Spain, news reports, newspapers, there is nothing to see. Some people feel better getting closer to where their loved ones might be, but in this case, we would like to go when something can be identified, one of their belongings can be identified, then of course we would like to go, but for the moment we prefer to be with our grandchildren and with the wife of our son to comfort them and be alongside them."

Relatives of the victims of the crash have been staying at a hotel near Barcelona airport since Tuesday, being cared for by support services and medical staff.

Some of the relatives set out to visit the crash site in the southern French Alps by bus on 25 March, while others travelled by plane from Barcelona to Marseille on Thursday morning.

From Marseille they were taken the 118 miles by bus to the zone close to the crash site. Chapels had been prepared for them with a view of the mountain where their loved ones died.

Police and forensic teams on foot and in helicopters pursued searches but said the impact of the crash was so violent that the plane had been shattered into small pieces.