The world is still in shock over circumstances that led to the tragic crash of Lufthansa’s Germanwings flight 9525, which resulted in the death of 150 people.
How was co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, able to successfully hide his mental illness from his employers and colleagues? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent him from deliberately crashing the plane? In the aftermath of the tragedy, what precautions should airlines take henceforth?
These and many more questions are on the minds of many.
British journalist and TV personality, Piers Morgan, recently penned an article published on Daily Mail titled Depressed pilots on medication for mental illness should not be flying passenger planes. That’s not insensitive – it’s protecting lives, expressing his thoughts on the matter.
Here are excerpts:
…A co-pilot with a lengthy history of depression, on medication for his illness, and ignoring a specific doctor’s sick note for the very day he was flying, was allowed to command a plane full of 149 people.
Then, he was left in sole charge of the cockpit when the captain went to the bathroom, enabling him to lock everyone out and commit his heinous act?
And once the captain knew what was happening, he was utterly incapable of getting back into the cockpit and doing anything to stop it. Nor was anyone from the airline on the ground able to intervene, despite the fact that technology exists to enable remote automated flying.
It beggars belief, doesn’t it?
Yet to confound comprehension even further, this wasn’t some third rate airline from a third world country.
Germanwings is owned by Lufthansa, the largest airline in Europe from the most powerful, well-resourced and technologically advanced country in Europe.
Yesterday, the boss of Germanwings admitted that Lubitz had slipped through the company’s ‘safety net’ and should never have been flying.
He shouldn’t have been anywhere near the controls of an unmanned drone, let alone a plane with 149 people on board.
Frankly, I don’t care if the co-pilot, 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz, was mad, bad or sad.
He lost any sympathy I may have had for him the moment he decided to murder 149 people by deliberately crashing his plane into a mountain.
They and their grieving families are the victims, not him.
And it could be any one of us next.
I am flying to Dallas and onto London next week, and I want some urgent reassurances from the airlines taking my money.
1) I want to know that there will always, ALWAYS, be two people in the cockpit. That is the rule in America now, and should be mandatory worldwide.
2) I want to know that if the captain is outside of the cockpit, he has a way of getting back in if there is an emergency. After all, what’s the point of a captain if he’s not in charge?
3) Most importantly, I want to know that the airlines know if either pilot has similar mental health issues to Andreas Lubitz, and whether he or she is on medication for them and ignoring doctors’ sick notes. That is their duty of care to both the passengers and the pilots.
That’s not ‘insensitive’, or ‘stigmatising’ people with depression, as some have over-sensitive lobby groups have raced to complain today.
It’s about protecting the lives of innocent people…