Germanwings Flight 9525: Murder from the Skies
The unfolding drama has all the makings of a best-selling murder mystery.
First, the pilot tried to return to the cockpit but the door was locked.
Next, he called out to the co-pilot within but there was no answer.
He took an axe to begin breaking the door - but not soon enough.
The co-pilot deliberately changed the settings of the plane so that it would make a steep descent.
Air-traffic controllers tried frantically to reach him but, again, he refused to respond (though his breathing could be heard).
After 8 minutes, it was all over - the plane hit the mountain and bursts into flames.
While the suspense was magnetic, the results were catastrophic. One hundred and fifty passengers meet a swift and horrific death on the slopes of the French Alps. Among the dead were 16 students from a small town school on an exchange program. Two babies also perished.
The unfolding drama of Germanwings Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf has become an international media event. Continuous and extensive coverage has been playing since the crash on Tuesday, March 24th, 2015. Spanish, French, and German political leaders, along with families of the victims, have visited the crash site to pay respect to the victims.
By recovering one of the flight recorders, the above scenario was revealed. The plane was deliberately crashed and, for all intents and purposes, the co-pilot is guilty of nothing less than mass murder.
Who was this man? He was 27 year old Andreas Lubitz, a German national. He did proper flight training, which was interrupted for a period because of a ‘severe depressive episode’ and possible ‘burnout.’ At the time, he was declared ‘not suitable for flying.’ After a year and a half of depression treatment, he was allowed to continue training and declared ‘100% fit to fly.’
People who knew him said he was a nice, quiet, funny young man who fit in well. Those same people are now speechless - how can this same man have committed such a barbarous act? No doubt, his parents have double-grief: first, their son died prematurely and violently; second, their son intentionally caused the plane crash.
As of this writing, the police have visited his residences and taken items, including a computer. He apparently refused to use a doctor’s script to call sick from work on the very day of the crash. Lubitz may have recently had a relational break-up and this may have pushed him off the edge.
Regardless of further findings or Mr. Lubitz’s motives, some points need to be borne in mind.
First, air travel is the safest mode of transportation imaginable. Yes, there are accidents - incidental and deliberate - but when you consider that 10,000s of planes fly every single day worldwide, crashes really are rare.
Apparently, after 9-11, cockpits have become impregnable fortresses which, in this case, was a liability. A new regulation will surely be instituted: there must be two pilots in the cockpit at all times.
Second, mental and spiritual health are as important goals as physical health. Often, mental illness can be worse than physical, and there is still a lot of uncertainty and debate on how to heal it. Our minds can be a battle ground so we need to commit them to God for renewal by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2). II Timothy 1:7 makes a superlative promise: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Third, we live in a fallen, corrupt, selfish world which also is heavily influenced by Satan and demon powers. People, particularly in the West, are taught to be self-centered, focused, and obsessed. Narcissism is at epidemic levels. Like the mass shootings in the United States, the message seems to be: I’m miserable, so you must die. For this reason, crazy things can happen to decent people. While we need to be aware of these things, neither should we fear them. Philippians 4:6-7 stands as tall today as it did 2,000 years ago: worry about nothing, pray about everything, and God’s peace will protect your hearts and minds in Christ.