Brit, 28, killed by ‘psychotic’ pilot who flew packed passenger jet into mountain

A British man was one of 150 passengers killed when a pilot decided to crash the plane he was flying so he could end his life, an inquest heard.

Paul Bramley, 28, was among the three Brits onboard the Germanwings Flight 9525 when its co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked himself in the cockpit and set the autopilot so the plane would crash 31,000ft in the French Alps.

A coroner on Monday ruled Paul’s death on March 24 2015, was “unlawful killing”.

It was later revealed how Lubitz had suffered a psychotic episode in the days leading up to the flight and deliberately crashed the plane, HullLive reports.

Lubitz locked himself in the cockpit when the captain visited the passenger cabin and the crew tried but failed to smash their way in before the crash.

The inquests into the deaths of both Hull man Paul and Martyn Matthews, 50, of Wolverhampton, were finally concluded on Monday in a joint inquest. The other British victim was seven-month-old Julian Pracz-Bandres, from Manchester.

The delay on concluding the inquests was due to complex and protracted investigations and then civil action by families of some of the victims seeking further compensation.

Paul was on Flight 9525, which crashed en route to Düsseldorf from Barcelona, heading back to the UK to see his family.

Investigations revealed physicians advised Lubitz to seek urgent treatment but were not allowed to alert authorities because of Germany’s strict privacy laws.

One phone call from the doctor to airline Germanwings or medical authorities would have grounded Lubitz, who in the past had already suffered from a psychotic episode as well as from depression and anxiety.

But he was allowed to fly and carry out his horrific mission to kill himself by plane suicide because he feared failing eyesight would cost him his job.

Paul’s father Philip condemned airline Germanwings and parent company Lufthansa for not removing Lubitz from the cockpit sooner.

In a Sunday Mirror interview in 2016, Mr Bramley said: “I want this report to tell the truth about what happened, why Lubitz was allowed in that cockpit.

“He was seen 41 times by different doctors. If they had said something my son and everyone on that flight would still be alive.

“But it’s my view the airline is at fault. They should be more diligent about who they employ and have more safeguards to stop people slipping through the net.

“I’m shocked and appalled. Why has this not be made public sooner?”

An interim report had already revealed Lubitz practised the fatal descent on an outbound Dusseldorf-Barcelona journey on the day of the tragedy.

The German-born pilot is believed to have emailed his doctor days before the disaster.

Worried about his job, he wrote: “I am afraid to go blind and I can’t get this possibility out of my head.”

Mr Bramley called for airline giant Lufthansa to be held accountable and demanded executives be prosecuted.

The victims’ families only received £60,000 compensation from the airline and some families went through the civil courts seeking a further £25,000.

But, in Germany, airlines had no legal means of checking medical information provided by pilots at the time.

Judges upheld the judgement of the lower Essen Regional Court, agreeing that the medical supervision of pilots was a sovereign task of the state.

They agreed that it is not the airline’s parent company but federal authorities that have responsibility as the Federal Aviation Office (LBA) is responsible for checking pilots’ airworthiness.

The decision of the court, while not going in the families favour, has meant the inquests could finally go head for Paul and Mr Matthews after six years.

Shortly after his tragic death Mr Bramley’s parents Philip and Carol paid tribute.

They said: “Paul was kind, considerate, loving and never afraid to show affection to family and friends.”

Mr Bramley, who is also survived by his brother Jack and sister Eve, attended Hessle Mount School and Hull Grammar School in Anlaby.

“He made really close friendships, which he still has today,” said his parents. “His favourite part of school was playing football. He went on to play for North Ferriby Juniors and then Springhead.”

Mr Bramley worked for his father, who lived off Saltshouse Road in east Hull, in the building trade but, in 2009, Mr Bramley and his mother moved to Majorca.

His parents said: “Paul loved the outdoor life and worked for a gardening and then building firm. Whoever he worked for always wanted him to stay, a true reflection of the man he was.”