Sunday, April 12, 2015

Psycho Copycat Aviator



The German co-pilot who flew the commercial aircraft into the mountains was certainly possessed by psychological demons throughout his life which eventually led him to meticulously plan a mass murder. This crash occurred just over a year since the Malaysia aircraft MH370 disappeared over the Indian Ocean in March 2014. What has not been openly discussed are the eerie parallels between the air disasters.


1.       Both aircraft, A320s, had reached cruising altitude.

2.      Both crashes took place in remote locations: the Indian Ocean, the least explored ocean on earth, and the sparsely populated Swiss Alps.

3.      Could one of the pilots aboard MH370 have locked the other pilot out of the cockpit and diverted the aircraft under civilian and military radar tracking systems to crash the aircraft without a trace? Without the black boxes, we’ll never know, but this theory is highly plausible.

Lufthansa and the European authorities have been more forthcoming with information on this German pilot than the Malaysian authorities on the pilots of MH370. The European authorities reviewed the pilot’s computer on-line inquiries and found numerous searches on the locking mechanisms of the A320 cockpit door.  Did the Malaysian authorities find similar information?

This leads one to broach the possibility of a copycat mass murder by a psycho pilot. If there are copycat criminals and wolf terrorists, why not pilots?

An intriguing question for mental health experts: why do pilots who decide to deliberately crash their aircraft, always do so in remote location?  These pilots (assuming one of the MH370 pilots decided to deliberately crash the aircraft) could have done more damage flying into a populated area. Why were their victims solely those passengers and crew on board?

Which begs the question: if a future suicidal pilot diverts from the scheduled flight path and heads directly towards a dense population area, who will decide to shoot down the aircraft even if it’s determined with a real-time system or cellphone calls from frantic passengers, that indeed it’s a mentally ill pilot at the controls and not a terrorist?

No test exists to determine who will “crack” with the intention of committing mass murder. And the least suspected mass murderer are those professionals with the ultimate public trust who are trained throughout their careers to safeguard lives such as pilots, medical professionals, rescuers, etc.

That’s why more stringent protocols and procedures are nothing more than a political panacea.  A determined crew member who knows the aircraft’s systems inside and out will find a way to over-ride them. With respect to pilots, it’s an ongoing friendly conflict between man and machine with aircraft systems becoming so sophisticated with the purpose to relieve the pilot’s burden and establish safety parameters but which are ironically more dangerous in an extreme situation in which the pilot must shutdown or over-ride the same systems designed to protect the crew and passengers.

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