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New findings about mental health of Germanwings pilot raises questions about airline standards




A man stands on March 29 2015 in front of a commemorative headstone in Seyne-les-Alpes, the closest accessible site to where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed on March 24 in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
A man stands on March 29 2015 in front of a commemorative headstone in Seyne-les-Alpes, the closest accessible site to where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed on March 24 in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images

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In the wake of Germanwings flight 9525 crash into the French Alps, Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz’s history of ‘suicidal tendencies’ is raising questions about how pilots are mentally evaluated.

As the workplace increasingly faces the topic of mental illness and how to balance worker’s rights with the safety of those with whom they work, the Germanwings crash shows just how important it is not only to ask the right questions but also to get the answers right.

At the moment, the most pressing question is why would a suicidal co-pilot want to kill all the passengers and crew when killing himself? We'll also look at what latitude airlines have in deciding whether a pilot's mental health should lead to grounding.

Should annual psychological evaluations be required? What steps can be taken to protect both passengers and pilots?

Guests:

Dr. Russell Rayman, (M.D.), practicing physician and Former Executive Director of the Aerospace Medical Association (18 years). Doctors like Rayman are the first line of defense when determining the mental stability of a pilot. 

Bill Schmitz, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and president of the American Association of Suicidology