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The German co-pilot who allegedly flew a Germanwings flight into the French Alps has been named as Andreas Lubitz, who was aged 28. Prosecutors claimed information suggested he was fully conscious as the plane went down.
"The co-pilot is alone at the controls," prosecutor Brice Robin said, drawing on information gathered from the black box recorder. "He voluntarily refused to open the door of the cockpit to the pilot and voluntarily began the descent of the plane."
Details of Lubitz's life are still emerging, with investigators confirming he did not have any known terrorist links. According to the website of the flight club where he was a member, the co-pilot was from Montabaur in Rhineland Palatinate.
Members of the Montbaur flying club where Lubitz renewed his glider license last month said he was pleased to have gained a job with Germanwings.
"He was happy he had the job with Germanwings and he was doing well," longtime club member Peter Ruecker, told AP. "He was very happy. He gave off a good feeling."
Ruecker said that Lubitz had a girlfriend. "I can't remember anything where something wasn't right," he said.
Others who knew him said he may have been suffering psychological problems.
The mother of an ex-classmate of Lubitz told how the co-pilot had confided in her daughter a few years ago.
She added though that he had seemed normal when her daughter saw him before Christmas.
"I can only image the whole thing was a knee-jerk reaction. It can't have been planned, although it was actually like a killing spree," she said.
She said: "He apparently was suffering from burnout or depression."
Lufthansa said that Lubitz had missed a few weeks training six years ago, though did not confirm the reason.
Montabaur city mayor Gabriele Wieland, speaking to the DPA press agency, said Lubitz lived with his parents in Montabaur and also had a residence in Dusseldorf, where the Germanwings flight was heading before it crashed.
German media reports he had 630 flight hours and joined budget airline Germanwings straight out of Lufthansa Flight Training School in Bremen in September 2013. Authorities have not confirmed if he had any experience as a professional pilot prior to that.
At a press conference on 26 March, Lufthansa announced Lubitz interrupted his training for a number of weeks six years ago. They did not provide details on the reasons for this interruption, but said he had been subjected to health checks afterwards.
They said he had passed all psychological and physical tests prior to starting work as a pilot.
"Andreas became a member of the club as a youth to fulfil his dream of flying," the club said in a death notice on its website.
"He fulfilled his dream, the dream he now paid for so dearly with his life," the club said, reports the Wall Street Journal.
French authorities said his family had left Marseille, where a press conference was held earlier on 26 March. His Facebook page lists his interests as aviation and music. Police have been deployed to guard the pilot's family home, which they have searched, reports the BBC.
Information from the black box recorder of the flight, which crashed on 24 March and killed 150 people, indicated Lubitz was alone in the cockpit, and intentionally started a descent while the other pilot was locked out.
The Airbus 320 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf hit a mountain near Barcelonette in the French Alps, after an eight-minute descent.