Lufthansa: Co-pilot told flight school of depressive episode

BERLIN (AP) — Lufthansa knew six years ago that the co-pilot of the passenger plane that crashed in the French Alps last week had suffered from a “serious depressive episode,” the German airline said Tuesday.

The airline said that as part of its internal research it found emails that Andreas Lubitz sent to the Lufthansa flight school in Bremen when he resumed his training there after an interruption of several months.

In them, he informed the school that he had suffered a “serious depressive episode,” which had since subsided.

The airline said Lubitz subsequently passed all medical checks and that it has provided the documents to prosecutors. It declined to make any further comment.

Questions have been raised about what the airline knew about Lubitz’s condition before last week’s fatal crash.

Authorities say the 27-year-old, who in the past had been treated for suicidal tendencies, locked his captain out of the cockpit before deliberately crashing the Airbus 320 into a mountain in the French Alps. All 150 people aboard Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf were killed that day.

Earlier Tuesday, Lufthansa said it had set aside $300 million to deal with possible costs from the March 24 crash.

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