A member of a gliding club in the French Alps says the German co-pilot accused of crashing a passenger plane nearby frequented the club as a child with his parents.

Francis Kefer, a member of the club in the town of Sisteron, said on i-Tele television that Andreas Lubitz' family and other members of the gliding club in his home town of Montabaur, Germany, came to the region regularly between 1996 and 2003.

French prosecutors say Lubitz deliberately slammed the Germanwings flight into a mountain on Tuesday. The crash site is about 60 kilometers (40 miles) away from the Sisteron glider airfield.

A special Mass is being held Saturday in the nearby town of Dignes-les-Bains to honor the victims.

German prosecutors are trying to determine why Lubitz crashed the plane.