world

Co-pilot deliberately slams plane in Alps; families ask why

30 Comments
By DAVID McHUGH

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
Login to comment

so the final responsibility lies with...co-pilot? No mention of Captain anywhere.

-17 ( +1 / -17 )

It has been reported he was forced to postpone his pilot training in 2008 after suffering a burnout and depression so perhaps a history of mental illness left him more susceptible to radical thinking. I don't see the point in trying to sugar coat premeditated mass murder, hopefully findings at his house and his parents house will hold more answers.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It just goes to show that nobody really knows what's in the hearts and minds of others. Lubitz will join the list of Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy in this regard, except he has killed more than these two infamous mass murderers combined.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Think I'll wait for the investigation before putting him in the Ted Bundy group. Don't get sucked into the media hype, its best to find out the facts first. Where did the French prosecutor get their information from,their potential income prospectus?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

1 hour 48 is decent fitness do he certainly looked after himself. It is amazing how some people can live seemingly normal life and yet still be suicidal. Its hard to believe really.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so the final responsibility lies with...co-pilot? No mention of Captain anywhere.

You mean the pilot who was locked out of the cockpit?

11 ( +10 / -0 )

Can't we wait for some detailed proof before passing judgement? The accident only occurred a couple of days ago and the rumors are already flying thick and fast. Although I understand the desire of contemporary society to have its information yesterday, there is still a whole lot of analysis that needs to be done.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Your absolutely right Hongo and Scoobs! We've seen misreporting lately with deadly consequences.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Super sad for all affected. This, too, shall pass.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

One solution, perhaps for new aircraft, would be to have a flight-crew specific toilet as part of the flight deck and in the secure area. No doubt some existing aircraft could be modified in this way but not all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

While it would not change the outcome of such a horrific crash, you can't help wishing it had not been an intentional crash as that makes it even more horrifying. RIP to those lost, except the co-pilot. Can't imagine what would drive you to take out an entire plane full of people with you if you wanted to end your life, especially if there are no political and/or religious issues (and we're not hearing about the latter intentionally, so he can't be Muslim or that would have been the news yesterday).

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well lets approach this from a different angle. If a pilot or co-pilot were determined to bring the plane down, is there really anything that could stop them?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The co-pilot must have had some serious problem either physical or mental. Whichever the case was, if another person had been there with him, this tragedy could have been avoided, so all the airlines, I think, make it obligatory to have at least two people in the cockpit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@scoobydoo

You won't have to wait long.

Lubitz pressed the descent button turning off the automatic pilot in the process, disabled the locks for entry to the cockpit preventing the pilot (who had left the cockpit for just a few moments to use the toilet) from re-entering, ignored the shouts and banging of the pilot at the cockpit door, ignored the screams of the passengers in the background, re-programmed the altitude from 38,000 feet to 100 feet. Not to mention the repeated warnings from ground control (which were met by silence and Lubitz's own calm breathing) to increase altitude. Not sure what more evidence you need, but it's already pretty clear that the co-pilot was in full control of the plane and intended to crash it.

Why did he do it? On that we'll just have to wait and see.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I remember in 1982 JAL flight no 350 crashed on approach to Haneda Airport: the pilot had deliberately put two of the engines into reverse thrust. The first officer and flight engineer did what they could to regain control, and the plane touched down in shallow waters short of the runway. I remember the news footage of the time showed the plane sitting in the water with its front end sheared off. Of the 174 people on board, 24 died. The pilot was later found to have been suffering from a mental illness before the flight, and was judged not guilty by reason of insanity.

But then you'd have to be insane by definition to deliberately crash a plane full of people.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Sydney Morning Herald is saying that he was having relationship problems with his girlfriend.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The one thing that crosses my mind ? "planning" The timing of the pilot leaving the cockpit to take a restroom break, the first officer would not have known when or "if" the pilot would leave or need to leave the cabin on such a short flight.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, another reason not to fly......

0 ( +2 / -2 )

One of those silent, ticking time bombs that walk among us. To the outside they appear completely normal but deeply inside they are highly unstable. Of course nothing excuses taking 149 people with him into death because of his personal problems. Time for airlines to revise their test standards. ... And make sure no Dawkins books are in the soon to be pilot's possession.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

He should have just rolled off the edge of the rock barricade he was sitting on at the Golden Gate bridge. And I don't see how an airline could allow the cockpit to be manned by one pilot at any one time, even for just a bathroom break especially as we have come to understand that the pilot in the cockpit can override any attempted entry into the cockpit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

From now on, not only do we have to worry about a terrorist sneaking in, a plane malfunction or an ATC error, we also have to take into account the possibility of a suicidal crew member ready to go down and take everybody else with him.

I do fly a lot and tend to work or catch up on sleep on the flights. Henceforth I plan to drink as much alcohol as possible and watch the inflight entertainment.

If I am going to go down, at least I go happy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is horrific. I hope the investigators can find the reason why the co-pilot did this, and the airlines can ensure this cannot happen again.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I remember in 1982 JAL flight no 350 crashed on approach to Haneda Airport: the pilot had deliberately put two of the engines into reverse thrust.

I was about to mention this, my adult students told me about it the other day. I was quite surprised that they did so, because quite a few of them have close relatives who work for either JAL or ANA.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I remember in 1999 a passenger forced an ANA flight attendant to open the cockpit door and fatally stabbed the pilot of a 747 flying from Haneda to Sapporo. He took control of the aircraft for a while and flew as low as 300 metres before being overpowered. The co-pilot landed the aircraft safely at Haneda. Had the cockpit door been secured, as they are now, it couldn't have happened.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Since doors are reinforced to keep the 'bad' guys out and can only be open with a code if the person in the inside does not deny entry, there is not much anyone can do to enter in this event as the co-pilot indeed denied access to the captain who was pounding on the door.. So there should always be two people there. There was one. Planes used to have three, but cutting cost with two became the norm. I have traveled often in my life, and can honestly say I just took it for granted that this kind of event would never happen. In fact, I probably never thought of it. There have been a series of plane accidents recently, but this kind of 'murder/suicide' is incomprehensible. Condolences to all the innocent souls who were on that flight. Unthinkable results in this horrendous crash!! Sad .. sad ... sad!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Diapers? If someone in the cockpit wants to crash a plane, they can. Same applies to bus drivers, truck drivers, personal vehicle drivers. Or people walking on bridges, overpasses, streets. There are millions of ways to kill yourself.

I can't think of any real fix that is 100%. Talking about this isn't helping.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Multiple panic buttons that permit autopilot takeover of controls and automatic configuration to safest flight pattern available, with two-out-of-three biometric-ID voting required to restore human-guided operations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

permit autopilot takeover of controls

Use drones, you'd be sure to have zero suicide candidate in the cockpit. There would other issues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Was this story edited to include the first paragraph of info or did I just miss it? Cockpit doors used to be able to be broken down for this reason and the they were made stronger to avoid the terrorist threat. Looks like a no win situation for cockpit door strength.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

coskuri: Use drones, you'd be sure to have zero suicide candidate in the cockpit. There would other issues.

Google's got auto-driving autos driving around streets near it. That seems harder than building drone pilots. Lot more potential for unwanted obstacles to jump out in front of a car (kids with soccer balls, etc.).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites