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Pilot Who Intentionally Crashed Airliner Had Troubles During Arizona Training

The German pilot who deliberately flew an airliner filled with passengers into a mountainside last year was trained in Arizona. The FBI now said there were many warning signs during his training.

Through interviews with flight instructors, the agency has learned Andreas Lubitz struggled to learn to fly. He also failed a key test of his skills at the Airline Training Center Arizona in Goodyear, but Lubitz was promoted anyway.

Attorneys representing families of the crash victims said these red flags should have caused Lufthansa and the flight school to take a closer look at Lubitz.

Lubitz was a co-pilot for Germanwings, a regional airline owned by Lufthansa, when he locked Flight 9524's captain out of the cockpit and set the plane to crash into the French Alps last year. All 144 passengers and six crew members, were killed, including Lubitz.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

When senior field correspondent Stina Sieg was 22, she moved to the desert. She hasn’t been the same since. At the time, the Northern California native had just graduated from college and was hankering for wide-open spaces. So she took a leap and wrote to nearly every newspaper in New Mexico until one offered her a job. That’s how she became the photographer for a daily paper in the small town of Silver City. And that’s when she realized how much she loved storytelling. In the years since, the beauty of having people open up and share their stories — and trust her to tell them — has never gotten old to Sieg. Before coming to KJZZ, Sieg was also a writer and photographer at newspapers in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Moab, Utah; and the Smoky Mountains town of Waynesville, North Carolina. She always had her hand in public radio, too, including hosting Morning Edition on a fill-in basis at WNCW in North Carolina. It’s still the best music station she’s found. When she’s not reporting, chances are Sieg is running, baking, knitting or driving to some far-flung town deep in the desert — just to see what it looks like.