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Piers Morgans writes about Germanwings co-pilot & the plane crash


I read this article on UK Daily Mail where Piers Morgan is an Editor-at-Large, found it interesting and thought to share. He titled it 'Depressed pilots on medication for mental illness should not be flying passenger planes. That's not insensitive - it's protecting lives. Read below...
I fly a lot. Last year alone, I travelled on 45 planes. Unlike my mother, who has a serious terror of flying, I have no qualms about it at all.
I’ve chuckled my way through violent cabin-thumping electrical storms in Hong Kong, and cheerfully slurped champagne through extreme turbulence in Texas during tornado season.To my logical Spock-like mind, it remains by far the safest way to transport myself. Statistically, you are more likely to die today being run over as you cross a road listening to your iPod than you are in a plane crash.
But two recent air-related tragedies have caused me to seriously question my sangfroid attitude.

The first was the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 a year ago.
I covered that story for the whole of my last month at CNN, and we are still no nearer having a single clue as to what happened to it.
Isn’t it just incredible that a giant, modern passenger jet could simply vanish without trace?

This at a time when scientists and spies have the power to film me right now as I write this column in my Beverly Hills garden, with satellite cameras thousands of miles up in space?
And now we have the Germanwings plane crash in France.
The facts that we already know about this horrific incident are extraordinary, and terrifying.

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.

You think??????

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  over-sensitive lobby groups have raced to complain today.
It’s about protecting the lives of innocent people.
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