Germanwings Copilot Treated for ‘Suicidal Tendencies’

Airlines rethinking policies in crash aftermath.

Airlines and aviation safety regulators around the world are considering a range of measures intended to prevent another tragedy like the one witnessed in the French Alps last week when a packed Germanwings jetliner crashed with its copilot at the controls.

German prosecutors say the 28-year-old pilot Andreas Lubitz apparently crashed the Airbus A320 intentionally after refusing to allow the jet’s captain back into the cockpit.

Investigators say they have uncovered a history of mental health issues including past “suicidal tendencies,” and the pilot reportedly disclosed his depression to Lufthansa’s training school.

Regulators in Germany have called for changes to the country’s privacy laws that would compel doctors to disclose medical conditions when a threat of suicide or harm to others exists.

Several airlines, meanwhile, have changed their policies in the wake of the crash to require two crew members be present in the cockpit at all times.

Crash investigators say Lubitz intentionally steered the airliner from 38,000 feet into the Alps moments after the captain left the cockpit. Still unclear is what specifically may have motivated the copilot to crash the airplane.

On the cockpit voice recording, say prosecutors, the captain can be heard pleading to be let back into the cockpit, and finally trying to break through the door in the moments before the crash, which killed all 150 on board.

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