How Depression Affected the Fate of Germanwings Flight 9525

Just ten short minutes after takeoff when passengers were beginning to get comfortable, without any warning, Andreas Lubitz crashed Germanwings Flight 9525 into the Alpes de Haute-Provence region. Lubitz was severely depressed but did not tell anyone how serious it had become.

The flight had one hundred fifty people on board: one hundred forty four passengers and six crew members. The victims were from Germany, Spain, Britain, America, Japan, Turkey, Australia, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Belgium, Denmark, and Morocco.

The flight was from Barcelona, Spain and was going to Dusseldorf, Germany. The plane left at 10:01 a.m. March 24. At 10:31 a.m. The plane began to descend from its 38,000 feet cruising altitude after Lubitz locked the pilot, Patrick Sondenheimer, out of the cockpit before losing contact with the French radar at 10:40. In a transcript of the voice recorder, the pilot demanded that his co-pilot opened the door and saying, “For God’s sake, open the door!” Sondenheimer had left the cockpit for a bathroom break and after he left, Lubitz began the descent of the plane. Transponder data shows that autopilot had been reprogrammed for the altitude to go from 38,000 feet to 100 feet before crashing in a remote area near Digne-les-Bains in the Alpes de Haute-Provence region, killing all 150 passengers and crew on impact.

The Germanwings airline company and it’s parent company, Lufthansa, continue to answer questions about Lubitz and the company’s policy about reporting any issues the crew may be experiencing. In a statement from Lufthansa, employees are only given a physical exam, not psychological. Lubitz had told the airline a few years ago, but the airline did not do anything about it. None of Lubitz’s coworkers had noticed any psychological issues.
Although this crash was tragic, knowing what happened on board Germanwings Flight 9525 gives families of those on board some closure. This does not happen often with plane crashes, an example being Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which still has not been found since it disappeared on March 8th, 2014.