The News Minute | March 29, 2015 | 09:03 am IST
Berlin: The German co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a passenger plane into the French Alps and killing himself and the other 149 people on board told his girlfriend last year that he was in psychiatric treatment and that he planned to do something that would make his name known worldwide.
"When I heard about the crash, I kept thinking about something he said: 'One day I'll do something that will change the whole system and then everyone will know my name and remember it.' I didn't know what he meant by that, but now it makes sense," the woman said in an interview published on Saturday by the German daily Bild.
The 26-year-old flight attendant said she had a four-month relationship last year with Andreas Lubitz, who is believed to have locked himself alone inside the cockpit of a Germanwings Airbus A320 on Tuesday and deliberately steered it into a mountainside.
The young woman, who was identified only as Maria, said that "in private he was very tender, a person who needed to be loved. He was a good person, who could be very sweet and gave me flowers".
"We always talked a lot about work and then he would become another person. He got upset about our work conditions: low pay, contract concerns, too much stress," she added.
She said she broke up with him because it became increasingly clear that "he had problems".
"Out of nowhere he would lose his temper while we were talking and scream at me. I was afraid. Once he even locked himself in the bathroom for a long time," the woman said.
The flight attendant said Lubitz suffered from nightmares and would wake up at night shouting that they were going to crash.
"He was very good at hiding from others what was really happening to him," the ex-girlfriend said, adding that "he never talked much about his illness, only that he was in psychiatric treatment".
The flight attendant said she believes the 27-year-old co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane, bound from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, "because he realised that due to his health problems his big dream of a job with Lufthansa, of working as a captain and a long-haul pilot, was practically impossible".
"If you add relationship problems to that, I don't know," the woman added.
The co-pilot had a new girlfriend who is a teacher and was living with him at his Dusseldorf apartment, which German authorities have already searched.
Prosecutors said on Friday that the co-pilot concealed his mental illness from Germanwings, noting that among the items found at his home were several doctors' notes stating that he was not well enough to work.