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German police make progress in profiling of Andreas Lubitz

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By Seamus Kearney
German police make progress in profiling of Andreas Lubitz

Officials say they are making progress in piecing together the background of Andreas Lubitz one week after he flew a plane carrying 150 people into a French mountain.

In news likely to fuel debate about how airlines screen and monitor pilots, German prosecutors say Lubitz was treated for suicidal tendencies years before receiving his pilot’s licence.

A commentator writing in the leading German news paper Die Welt has described the tragedy as the country’s 9/11 in terms of the way that people are dealing with it.

The new video of Lubitz shows him some years ago at the controls of a glider, apparently flying near his hometown, and filmed by someone sitting behind him.

Prosecutors say they believe Lubitz deliberately crashed the A320 plane into the French Alps, killing everyone on board, after locking the pilot out of the cockpit.

Victims’ families are being warned they might have to wait months for the bodies of their loved ones to be identified.

Colonel Francois Daoust at the Forensic Science Institute of the French Gendarmerie said: “Depending on the number of bodies and fragments of bodies found, the delay could vary between a minimum of two and four months.”

The plane crashed into a mountain in the French Alps while en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf.

Relatives of two Australian citizens who died are the latest to pay their respects to their loved ones at the crash site memorial in the town of Seynes-les-Alpes.