Views from Vega
When Germanwings Flight 9525 in the Alps, the name everybody was talking about was accused
co-pilot Andreas Lubitz.
For those who don’t know, Lubitz deliberately brought down the plane carrying 144 passengers
and six crew members, killing everybody on board.
Those killed include Iranian sports journalists, German high school students, opera singers
and a mother and daughter from Virginia.
In this post-9/11 world, airlines have made their fair share of protocols.
U.S. airlines have not only implemented stricter TSA searches, but also require a flight attendant to enter
the cockpit if the captain or co-pilot leaves it.
With so many vulnerable lives thousands of feet up in the air, not one person should be alone at the controls.
It is equally chilling as it is audacious.
Germanwings’ parent company, Lufthansa, did not have a similar protocol, and the steel door put into
jetliners to keep terrorists from entering the cockpit worked in the most ironic way.
Captain Patrick Sondenhiemer banged and shouted and even took an ax to the steel door, to no avail.
The one thing meant to keep the bad guys out, kept the only bad guy in.
Errors were seen and Lufthansa quickly implemented that two people must be in the cockpit at all times.
Lubitz was depressed, but never disclosed the matter to his employer.
He was deemed unfit to work with an illness went to a doctor.
Antidepressants were found in Lubitz’s apartment after the accident.
The guy also had torn-up medical leave notes around his apartment, even one for the day of the crash.
But locking his captain out of the cockpit while he pleaded and tried breaking in to save the ill-fated plane is not caused just by depression.
Reprogramming the auto pilot from 38,000 feet to 100, pummeling the plane 3,000 feet per minute
toward the Alps, while ignoring the demands of the captain to open the door and the screams of the passengers, is not just caused by depression.
Keeping his breathing calm and steady throughout the ordeal is not just caused by depression.
This guy had more issues going on in his mind, his mental illness seemed to have steamed from
But this was not a pilot’s suicide, but pilot’s homicide.
If this man wanted so much to end his life, why take 149 others with him?
With another tragedy by a plane crash, this will more than likely call for psychological tests
required along with the physical ones pilots must take.
Lubitz had passed his annual pilot certification medical examination in summer 2014, the test
only examines physical health, but how a single man managed to hide his mental health past
from Lufthansa is absurd.
Nothing as serious as mental illness should have slid by the airline so freely.
As more details come up, Lufthansa has a lot of face to save.