The tragedy of the 150 dead victims of the Germanwings flight deliberately crashed in the French Alps by a co-pilot reportedly suffering from mental ill-health is a chilling reminder for all of us who fly, if one was needed after 9/11, that if someone wants to kill you in that way, for whatever reason, they’ll find an easy way to do it.
In this case Andreas Lubitz, 27, simply waited until his pilot left the cockpit, locked him out and put the plane into descent mode until it hit the ground eight minutes later, killing all on board. Those with a fear of flying have now got another very good reason not to, and no amount of reassurance from the airline industry about changes in procedures and pilot screening is going to change that.
It does seem that the horrific murder of 150 men, women and children had been planned for some time as a former girl-friend of Lubitz now says she recalls him telling her last year “One day I’m going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember”.
Since the crash the CEOs of Lufthansa and Germanwings have refused to answer questions on how much they knew about the mental health of Lubitz.