Copilot Suspected of Alps Air Crash Trained in Arizona

Mar 27, 2015

Andreas Lubitz, the copilot suspected of intentionally crashing a Lufthansa flight in the Alps.
Credit Reuters/Foto-Team-Mueller

The co-pilot who authorities believe intentionally crashed an airplane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board, likely first honed his flying skills for months in Arizona.

Lufthansa Group, which owns Germanwings airline, said Thursday that 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz trained in Bremen, Germany and Phoenix starting in 2008.

A Facebook page bearing his name lists Phoenix Goodyear Airport among his interests.

The airport houses Airline Training Center Arizona, a Lufthansa-owned training facility.

Aviation experts say students there log flight hours and attend classes on navigation in an 18-month period.

Sunshine and vast air space have historically made Arizona a popular location for pilot training.

French prosecutors say Lubitz locked his co-pilot out of the cockpit of Germanwings Flight 9525 on Tuesday before the jet dove into the mountainside.

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