It took around thirty-six hours to figure out that the pilot was on a toilet break in the German Wings plane, and the Co-Pilot refused to let him back into the cockpit....locking door with the computer system.....and setting the plane into a decline over a seven-to-eight minute period.
Suicide? No....I don't refer to a case like this as plain suicide. Guys like this deserve a special category....murderer. He wanted a body count and an impressive act as part of his departure plan. Typically....ninety-nine percent of people on a suicide plan....do it without involving anyone else.
Around six years ago in the Pfalz....we had two Air Force personnel returning from a Xmas function on Ramstein. They were driving north out of the region and headed toward Baumholder. Somewhere in the darkness...on the autobahn....they rounded a corner and some gal ran intentionally across the road to be hit by the car. The murderer in this case wanted to involve the two Air Force folks in their last moments on Earth. The murderer ended up flying through the windshield and caused some minor injuries to the car passengers. They survived....the murderer died....and the two survivors end up with a life-time of memories over a five-second moment.
German cops couldn't say much after the Pfalz episode....gal was under some treatment, but that was mostly the end of the story.
This co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz? I suspect the cops will go to his apartment....find some writings of depression....mental stress....then question friends from his school days. Most will probably say that he had some dark tendencies and they just didn't know the real Lubitz. Maybe he got some mental health counseling as a kid.....maybe he got even more recently.
The gameplan? It was never suicide. It was to murder a bunch of folks and make a dramatic show out of it. There's no punishment for Lubitz now....he basically is slammed via the news media and his former co-workers will simply ask who the real Lubitz was and why he was this crazy.
As for tomorrow? The US has a FAA policy....pilot or co-pilot want to go to the toilet? Stewardess is called in and she stands there while the guy is gone. No one say much over what the policy is if the remaining aircrew member starts to get up and move toward the stewardess....but I'm guessing she'll open the door and give a warning of some type. My hunch is that all EU airlines will enact this policy within two weeks.
The reason why you get some nuts like this? Simple....business expansion.
It used to be in the 1960s and all the way to the 1980s....all of your airline pilots (US, Japan, Canada, Britain, France, etc)....had military pilots who had been screened by their services. Once the boom period of the 1980s came around....there just weren't enough pilots of a military background. So you started to get guys who had some brief college years and a certification for the type of plane they wanted the pilot to fly. Airlines didn't ask a bunch of questions about mental issues....if they did.....they wouldn't be able to get enough folks to fill all of the various requirements.
So, they accepted guys who had depression issues, mental issues, etc. This guy here? He just wanted to murder folks in a creative way. Maybe there's some test for this type of disorder, but I kinda doubt that it'd be that effective and work each time around.
Yeah....we were so worried about jihad nuts.....we didn't really focus on just plain average nuts in a pilot's uniform. It's that simple.