Go back some time and look at the accident records from the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s.
The past ten years have been the safest, statistically, in the history of modern civil aviation, and there hasn’t been a large-scale crash involving a major U. passenger carrier in fourteen years — the longest such streak ever.
Lubitz was a so-called pilots generally graduate into jetliners with far fewer hours than those who come up the ranks via the traditional methods.
It’s true that logbook totals aren’t necessarily a good indicator of skill or competence, and there’s nothing easy about programs, but there are certain intangibles that a pilot of that experience level simply doesn’t have.
Thus O’Brien brings up an compelling point — though it’s one that probably means nothing in the context of the crash.
O’Brien is also says there is “no psychological component” to a pilot’s twice-yearly FAA physical. It’s a minor component, but if you read the FAA Examiner guidelines and the criteria for certification, it’s there.
As for the stigma that he implies pilots face when admitting mental health issues, maybe that was a problem at one time, but most airlines today are highly accommodating to any workers grappling with such problems.
Next we have the whole “pilot” and “copilot” thing, which has gotten out of hand.
I was letting it go in deference to the more serious and tragic aspects of this crash, but my patience has expired.
People: there are two pilots in the cockpit, the captain and the first officer. Copilots are not apprentices; they take off, land, and otherwise fly the airplane just as much as captains do.
NOT TO DETRACT FROM the raw horror of the Germanwings disaster, but the crash has spawned a sideshow of ill-informed and just plain aggravating conversations, across the whole spectrum of the media, that somebody needs to address.