WASHINGTON: Five years ago Federal Aviation Administration officials questioned the mental fitness of the Germanwings pilot who crashed an airliner in the French Alps last month, but they awarded him a U.S. pilot license after his German doctor said he had fully recovered from severe depression, government records show.

The records, posted online by the FAA in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, show Andreas Lubitz applied for a U.S. pilot license while he was employed by Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, and was training to be an airline pilot at a flight school in Phoenix in 2010. As part of the application, he initially submitted a medical form to the FAA asserting he had no mental disorders. He then resubmitted the form acknowledging he had been treated for severe depression from 2008 to 2009.

The FAA initially sent Lubitz a letter warning that his license application could be denied and giving him 30 days to provide a letter from his doctor describing his treatment and his current condition. The license was granted after he provided letters from his doctor describing his treatment and saying he had recovered.