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Germanwings plane crash: Police say 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is not a suicide note

Forensic experts of the French gendarmerie looking for the black box or clues on the site of the March 24 crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 in which all 150 people on board were killed.
Forensic experts of the French gendarmerie looking for the black box or clues on the site of the March 24 crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 in which all 150 people on board were killed.
Forensic experts of the French gendarmerie disaster victim identification unit (UGIVC) working under a tent near the site of the March 24 crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 in which all 150 people on board were killed.
LA VERNET, FRANCE - MARCH 28: Relatives stand at a monument to honour the victims of Germanwings flight 4U9525 in front of the mountains near the crash site on March 26, 2015 in Le Vernet, France. France.
LE VERNET, FRANCE - MARCH 28: Policemen stand in front of a memorial stone for the victims of the Germanwings Airbus flight near to the crash site on March 28, 2015 in Le Vernet, France.
Officials from the Japanese Consulate in Marseille reflect on March 29 2015 in front of headstone in Seyne-les-Alpes, the closest accessible site to where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed on March 24 in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
SEYNE, FRANCE - MARCH 29: Rescue workers and gendarmerie continue their search operation near the site of the Germanwings plane crash on March 29, 2015 in Seyne les Alpes, France.
A helicopter of the French gendarmerie flies over Seyne-les-Alpes on March 28, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings flight crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard.
Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Search and rescue teams attend to the crash site of the Germanwings Airbus in the French Alps on March 25, 2015 near Seyne, France.
The home of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
March 26, 2015 -- The cockpit voice recorder recovered from the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps indicates that the co-pilot intentionally started a descent while the pilot was locked out of the cockpit. Graphic shows layout of the A320 cockpit and entrance door.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, French President Francois Hollande, right, and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy pay respect to victims in front of the mountain where a Germanwings jetliner crashed Tuesday, in Le Vernet, France, Wednesday, March 25, 2015.
The voice data recorder of the Germanwings jetliner that crashed Tuesday in the French Alps. (AP Photo/Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses)
Journalists wait on March 25, 2015 on a air base in Seyne, French Alps a day after a Germanwings Airbus A320 smashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
French emergency services workers (back) and members of the French gendarmerie gather in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.
BARCELONA, SPAIN- MARCH 24: Relatives of passangers of the Germanwings plane crashed in French Alps arrive at the Terminal 2 of the Barcelona El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 148 people on board has crashed in French Alps. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
A poster reading "Yesterday we were many, today we are alone" can be seen in front of a memorial of flowers and candles near the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school in Haltern am See, western Germany on March 25, 2015, from where some of the Germanwings plane crash victims came. AFP PHOTO / SASCHA SCHUERMANNSASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images
A helicopter of civil security services is seen in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.
The March 7, 2014 photo shows an Airbus A320 of German airline Germanwings as it lands at the airport in Hamburg, northern Germany. A Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf Tuesday, March 24, 2015. (AP Photo/dpa, Jan-Arwed Richter)
Members of the French gendarmerie gather in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.
The arrivals board shows flight 4U 9525 without a status at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after a Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A man who appears to have waited for the missing flight 4U 9525 reacts at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after a Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
French president Francois Hollande addresses medias at the Elysee presidential palace after a meeting with Spanish royal couple, on March 24, 2015 at in Paris. Spanish King Felipe VI cut short his first state visit to France after 150 people died in a Germanwings airliner crash in the French Alps after earlier taking off from Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAUsMARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
The logo of German airline Lufthansa (top) and its Germanwings subsidiary can be seen near a counter on March 24, 2015 at the airport in Duesseldorf, western Germany, where the crashed Germanwings airplane was due to land.
A man who appears to have waited for the missing flight 4U 9525 covers his face at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, after a Germanwings passenger jet carrying 148 people crashed in the French Alps region as it traveled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a press conference follwing a Germanwings plane crash on March 24, 2015 in Berlin. An Airbus A320 belonging to Germanwings, low-cost airline owned by German flag carrier Lufthansa, en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf disappeared from the radar screens. AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZTOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images
Carsten Spohr, CEO of German airline Lufthansa
An Airbus 320 aircraft of Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary Germanwings
An Airbus 320 aircraft of Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary Germanwings
Spanish King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia listen to French president as he addresses medias at the Elysee presidential palace after a meeting, on March 24, 2015 at in Paris.
Helicopters of the French Air Force (back) and civil security services are seen in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps.

By Victoria Richards

Police searching the homes of the co-pilot who deliberately crashed the Germanwings Airbus A320 in the Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board, say they have made a "significant" discovery that may provide a clue as to what happened to the plane, according to reports.

German officers searching Lubitz's flat in Montabaur, on the outskirts of Dusseldorf, have taken several items away for testing – but confirmed that the find did not include a suicide note.

Detectives were also seen carrying material away in large blue bags - including a computer - from a property in Montabaur that the co-pilot shared with his parents. He is believed to have split his time between the two addresses.

A man, thought to have been Lubitz's housemate, was led out of the building shielded by police jackets.

A spokeswoman for Dusseldorf police said that they had not yet found a "crucial" piece of evidence, but Markus Niesczery from Dusseldorf Police told the Daily Mail: “We have found something which will now be taken for tests. We cannot say what it is at the moment but it may be very significant clue to what has happened.

“We hope it may give some explanations.”

The find comes as German media report that an extended break in Andreas Lubitz's pilot training in 2009 was due to a struggle with depression.

Lubitz, 28, deliberately put the plane into a descent after the captain left the cockpit, French prosecutors said after analysing evidence from the recovered cockpit voice recorder.

Investigators are focusing on his "personal, family and professional environment" to try to determine why he locked his captain out of the cockpit and reset the autopilot to take the doomed plane from 38,000 feet to just 100ft.

French and German officials said there was no evidence that Lubitz was a terrorist, but have not yet offered any motive.

According to German newspaper Bild, Lubitz was going through a "personal life crisis", while the Der Spiegel newspaper said he had taken a break in training because of "burnout-syndrome".

But friends and acquaintances described him as an "affable" young man who had given no sign of harmful intent.

Klaus Radke told the Associated Press that he saw him last autumn, when he returned to the club to renew his glider licence.

"He seemed very enthusiastic about his career. I can't remember anything where something wasn't right," he said.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said Lubitz had acted "for a reason we cannot fathom right now but which looks like intent to destroy this aircraft".

Matthias Gebauer, chief correspondent for the online edition of German newspaper Der Spiegel, tweeted: "Schoolmates of co-pilot who crashed tell German reporters he took six-months break from flight training in 2009 due to burnout-syndrome."

Earlier, Carsten Spohr, chief executive of Lufthansa, said: "The co-pilot interrupted his training, I would be interested to know why.

"I cannot tell you anything about the reasons of this interruption, but anybody who interrupts the training has to do a lot of tests so the competence and fitness would be checked again."

Lubitz had been employed as a flight attendant when he first tried to become a pilot in 2008 after waiting for eight months, but did not start working as a first officer for Lufthansa until September 2013.

Asked about Mr Lubitz's ethnicity, Mr Robin said: "He was a German national and I don't know his ethnic background. He is not listed as a terrorist, if that is what you are insinuating."

Meanwhile, airlines are changing procedures to ensure two crew members are in the cockpit at all times during flights following the disaster.

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority said it had contacted all UK operators to urge them to review safety procedures in the wake of the tragedy, in which 150 people were killed.

Monarch, easyJet, Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook all confirmed they had changed their policies, while Ryanair, Jet2 and Flybe said they already required two crew members to be in the cockpit at all times.

British Airways said it did not discuss "issues of security".

Three Britons were among those on board the Airbus A320 which crashed on Tuesday.

A Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said: "We always ensure we have the highest safety standards and, while it is our common practice to have two members of our crew in the flight deck at all times, in light of recent events we are now in the process of formalising this to be policy."

An easyJet spokesman said: "easyJet can confirm that ... it will change its procedure which will mean that two crew members will be in the cockpit at all times. This decision has been taken in consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority.

"The safety and security of its passengers and crew is the airline's highest priority."

Monarch said it had revised its flight deck policy so that all passenger flights will require a member of cabin crew to stand in when the pilot or co-pilot leaves the cockpit for any reason.

The airline already practised an "eyes-on" check, when a cabin crew member enters the flight deck to check on the captain and first officer every 15 to 20 minutes.

A British Airways spokeswoman said: "We never discuss issues of security."

In his startling account of the doomed plane's final half hour, Mr Robin said: "I think the victims only realised at the last moment because on the recording we only hear the screams on the last moments of the recording."

He added: "I believe that we owe the families the transparency of what the investigation is pointing to and what is going on, we owe it to them to tell them what happened.

"The families have been informed of everything I just told you."

Source: Independent

Read more:

Germanwings plane crash: Kneejerk reaction to 9/11 enabled Andreas Lubitz to commit mass murder, says aviation expert 

France plane crash: Germanwings co-pilot deliberately destroyed plane, as passengers screamed 

Independent News Service

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