Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot who apparently downed the Airbus 320 last week had been treated by psychotherapists “over a long period of time,” the prosecutor’s office said. Lubitz, 27, was was flying Germanwings jetliner when the pilot stepped out of the cockpit. Lubitz refused to allow the captain to re-enter and he flew the plane into the mountains below killing all 150 people on board.
Authorities have questioned his friends who noticed nothing out of the ordinary but this misses the point.
Given that it is impossible to know when some people are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts, no matter how normal they seem some sort of fail safe mechanism should be developed where ground control can monitor and engage control of the places from locations on the ground. This is also especially the case given the increased state of extremists around the world who could infiltrate airlines personnel rosters. To rely on “objective observations” of the pilots or even a flurry of psychological tests would not necessarily reduce the increasing risks of placing total control of planes into the hands of one or two individuals.
Absent discussion and action by the airline industry in this regard, Governments should mandate immediate considerations of the fail safe programs.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.