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Pilot Psychology And Flight Safety47:18
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The pilot who crashed his plane in the Alps. What we know now. And what to do about pilots’ psychological health.

A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)
A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)

We all have problems. Not all of us are airline pilots. And only the tiniest number are airline pilots who deliberately slam their fully-loaded passenger jets into a mountainside. But that is what we are told apparently happened last week in the French Alps. Germanwings Air Flight 9525. Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz at the controls. His captain, locked out of the cockpit as the jet came screaming relentlessly down. Trying to bring the door down.  ubitz had problems. It was too late to solve them. This hour On Point: looking for a failsafe when airline pilots go bad.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jeevan Vasagar, Berlin correspondent for the Financial Times. (@jeevanvasagar)

Heinrich Großbongardt, aviation expert and managing director at Expairtise.

Andrew Denison, director, Translatintic Networks. (@Denison_TN)

Dr. William Edwin Green III, professor of neuro-psychiatry and behavioral health and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Private psychiatric practitioner.

From Tom’s Reading List

Telegraph: Andreas Lubitz hid illness: Everything we know on Friday about Germanwings plane crash co-pilot — "Andreas Lubitz was the boy who grew up dreaming of flying and of one day becoming a pilot. He went on to fulfil his ambition, but it now appears that it was at the cost of 149 innocent lives after he 'deliberately' crashed the Germanwings Airbus A320 into the side of a mountain in the French Alps."

The Wall Street Journal: Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz Hid Illness From Airline, Says Prosecutor — "Mr. Lubitz’s motive for crashing the plane remain unclear. People who knew him described him as quiet, pleasant and responsible, and Lufthansa said it had no indication why he would have deliberately crashed the aircraft. People who saw him recently said he didn’t appear burdened."

Deutsche Welle: Germanwings crash prompts two-person cockpit rule -- "Germany's BDL aviation federation announced late Thursday that airlines such as Lufthansa and Air Berlin intended to immediately enact the two-person rule in consultation with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation. A French prosecutor said Thursday that the recovered voice recorder indicated that the Germanwings' co-pilot kept the chief pilot locked out of the cockpit and deliberately let the plane crash into a French alpine range."

This program aired on March 30, 2015.

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