New evidence has been uncovered by investigators suggesting that Andreas Lubitz premeditatively planned to crash his plane some time prior to the actual crash. From the Wall Street Journal:
The prosecutor heading the investigation said Thursday that a tablet computer found in Mr. Lubitz’s apartment contained a record of searches for medical treatments, suicide methods and cockpit security.
I'm no psychiatrist, but my feeling is that this act goes beyond the self destructive urges that may be visited upon a mind struggling with depression alone. Lubitz is beginning to look more like a psychopath. His act was immoral and evil.
Perhaps an argument can be made that he was by definition insane because mentally healthy people do not commit mass murder. And because of his illness, he is therefore absolved of any personal guilt. It's the old debate over the insanity defense.
But to deny any moral agency in a man who was otherwise able to function highly enough to be hired, trained, and employed in a highly trusted and technical job is too facile for my taste. I also can't help thinking that this argument is somewhat circular. Some apples are just bad.
This past week I flew a three day trip and was thankfully spared some of the usual smart remarks about being drunk or in this case being sane that some wiseacre can often be counted on to make while boarding. Truth be told, I am often tempted to respond with "not as far as you know" to the drinking accusations or "as long as I stay on my meds" to the latest questions of mental fitness.
But for obvious reasons I just smile and wave. Many people are nervous getting on an airplane, and I totally get that. A weak attempt at humor is an effort to dispel the unease which comes along with confining oneself like a sardine in an aluminum tube to be hurtled through the air at ungodly speeds. Some guys I fly with take great offense at such jests, but of all the insults to be suffered in life, this is a minor one.
It may be the reason, though, why more pilots seem reticent to greet customers as they board.
Black Box Found
Crash site searchers have located the DFDR, or digital flight data recorder from Flight 9525 which records actual flight parameters and control inputs. The data have revealed that multiple pilot inputs were made commanding the doomed jet to accelerate towards the ground.
These results add further confirmation to the conclusion that the Airbus was deliberately crashed into the Alps and that the crash was not the result of some malfunction in the aircraft. This should help to dispel some of the alternate narratives concerning mechanical causes of the crash.