Saturday, March 28, 2015

Andreas Lubitz Alone in the Cockpit

Some day I will do something that will change the whole system and then all will know my name and remember it.

According to the German newspaper Bild, a quote from Andreas Lubitz to a former girlfriend last year.

Brother Lubitz certainly did that. And why he did it is becoming less of a mystery almost every internet minute as the investigation into the crash of Germanwings flight 4U 9525 continues. Yes, at the moment, what happened is obvious and the why it did is increasingly apparent. The real question at this point--the unanswerable one--is how did someone as bat shit crazy as, Andreas Lubitz end up by himself in the cockpit of an Airbus A320 flying over the Alps with, if you include him, 150 passengers and crew aboard.

It isn't like people didn't know he was chronically depressed. Various media outlets are reporting his training was suspended in 2009 when the Lufthansa flight school deemed him, "not suitable for flying." He was, at the time, diagnosed as having a, "severe depressive episode." According to Bild he underwent 18 months of psychiatric treatment and had to retake a number of classes because of his condition.

Other sources are reporting he was not only dealing with mental heath issues, but having trouble with his eyesight, which could also cost him his job. In any event he convinced the powers at Germanwings he was okay to continue flying. It was frighteningly easy for him to do so. The Guardian reports investigators found a note from a shrink in the Rhineland saying he was unfit to be anywhere near a cockpit. Apparently the doctor assumed his patient would voluntarily show the diagnosis to Germanwings. Silly him--Lubitz simply tore it up and didn't tell anyone at the airline the warning existed.

This led Dr. Hans-Werner Teichmuller, the head of an association of German physicians who examine pilots, to exclaim, "Everything he did was highly criminal."

Right. The guy was fucking nuts and his intent was to commit mass murder. Tell us Doc, exactly how did you expect him to act?

Tragically, Andreas Lubitz isn't the first whack job at the controls of a fully loaded airliner. In 1999 Egyptair flight 990 dove head first into the cold waters of the North Atlantic, 60 miles from the coast of Nantucket Island. The National Transportation Safety Board came to the conclusion the, "probable cause of the crash was deliberate actions by the relief first officer." The Egyptians either couldn't, or wouldn't buy into the NTSB ruling and blamed the disaster on mechanical failure. There were 217 passengers and crew on board.

A little over a year ago, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 carrying 239 souls flew into the murky recesses of the Twilight Zone. Conspiracy theorists ran wild with dozens of reasons why, blaming everyone from the Illuminati to cabals of Zionists and alien spacecraft. While fringe elements are easy to write off, the sobering truth is someone on that flight with a working knowledge of a Boeing 777, civil air radar coverage, and international flight procedures went off his, or her nut. The most obvious suspects are the pilot, and or co pilot.

As these words are being typed the families of the victims of flight 4U 9525 are watching dozens of lawyers queue up on their front lawns. This isn't going to be pretty, or quick, but it most certainly will be breathtakingly expensive. The Egyptians were up front in denying their guy was the cause. Malaysia Airlines can, with all plausibility, say they have no idea what took place on flight MH370. Germanwings and its parent company Lufthansa don't have any such room to maneuver in order to do the old bob and weave when it comes to litigation.

In this case there are no dubious doubts. Andreas Lubitz's internal struggles were both lengthy and well documented. Yet, despite his extensive mental health issues, which were clearly available to them, the management of Germanwings still put the lives of 149 human beings directly into his hands.

The only fortunate thing to come out of this nightmare is that Herr Lubitz took the controls over a remote mountain area, rather than a city full of high rise buildings and people on the ground. God only knows what would have happened if he'd been alone at the wheel in the sky above Marseille, or Monaco.



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