Losing our loved ones to airplane accidents is surely painful. It is more painful if we know that the pilot intended for the crash to happen. This is what happened with the latest plane crash. On March 24, 2015, Singaporeans were horrified of the fate of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525. The airplane did not crash because of any equipment malfunction. It crashed because of human intervention and that is very disturbing.
After retrieving the black box voice recorder, the officials are led to believe that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot, intended for the crash to happen. He deliberately locked the captain outside the cockpit and flew the plane into the French Alps. The captain only left the pit because he was going for the toilet. In his desperation, he even used an axe to get through the door when he noticed what was happening.
The incident killed more than one hundred fifty passengers and crew members. Because of the incident, French officials say that this appears to be a case of suicide and mass murder. The plane is bound to Duesseldorf from Barcelona. Half of the victims were German. Fifty passengers were from Spain and the remaining passengers were composed of different nationalities. The airline company gave 50,000 euros per passenger as assistance for their families. Aside from 50,000 euros, the families will still be given compensation.
Investigations are on-going. The police are still scouring the things of Lubitz to understand what led him to decide such spiteful act. The authorities did not specify the illness but they knew that Lubitz sought for psychiatric help for his bout with serious depression. It was also found out that Lubitz purposely hid his condition to his colleagues and to the airline.
A pilot candidate will first undergo tests with a psychologist. The psychologist will then determine if the pilot candidate suffers from depression (or any kinds of health and mental sickness) so they cannot compromise their airworthiness. There are times that the candidates purposely hid their conditions.
Due to this incident, airline safety rules are being reviewed discussed now. In fact, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recommended that airline companies require at least two people present in the cockpit. This is the standard practice in United States.
Perhaps airline companies here in Singapore should also heed the words of EASA for safer air travel. Passengers are losing faith in airline industry because of the tragedies. We need to know that we are safe. If we are not sure, perhaps we have to be on the ground.