As news has been breaking that 28-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz apparently deliberately crashed the Germanwings flight and killed all 150 people on board on Tuesday, a single photo of Lubitz has surfaced showing Lubitz on a trip to San Francisco. The photo has already made it onto the New York Times, and it's been used to create at least one Facebook group on which everyone can vent their internet rage toward Lubitz.
As an employee of Lufthansa Germanwings and Eurowings are low-cost subsidiaries of the Lufthansa corporation Lubitz would have been able to travel wherever Lufthansa travels, including SFO, on an employee fare. It's unclear when he might have made the trip or posted the photo, as his Facebook page appears to be locked. But a German person with access to it created the "community" page under his name, using his profile photo and saying, "This is the monster Andreas Lubitz."
The person adds, "And his Facebook profile shows Lubitz was particularly interested in the type of aircraft A320. He followed a page where the [pilots experienced] different scenarios, technical information and operational issues [were] discussed."
As the Times reports, Lubitz came from the German town of Montabaur. The Guardian reported that Lubitz began working as a flight attendant before starting flight training in 2008. Also, they add that a Spiegel reporter is now reporting, via friends of Lubitz on Twitter, that Lubitz had to take time out of his flight training in 2009 because he was suffering from "burnout or depression."
It appears that after the pilot of the plane got up to use the lavatory, Lubitz intentionally locked him out of the cockpit while causing the plane to descend. On the cockpit voice recorder, the pilot can be heard banging on the door to be let back in, and screams of passengers can also be heard. Lubitz says nothing throughout the descent, but he can be heard breathing.
The Airbus 320 that Lubitz was flying has a lock mechanism on the cockpit door that would have enabled him to lock everyone out and disable the keypad on the outside of the door for five minutes.
Related: Co-Pilot Intended To Destroy Plane That Crashed In French Alps, Prosecutor Says [DCist]