French authorities seek new rules for pilots

admin
By admin March 14, 2016 13:43

French authorities seek new rules for pilots

France’s BEA air accident agency, which is investigating last year’s Germanwings crash and published its final crash report last week, is urging new reporting requirements for doctors treating pilots in a bid to bring to light any mental health issues. BEA says that there needs to be clear rules for aviation authorities to balance patients’ right to medical privacy and public safety.

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and crashed Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountainside on March 24, 2015, killing all 150 people on board. It was later brought to light that Lubitz had suffered from depression in the past, but authorities and his airline later deemed him fit to fly as they didn’t know is that his mental health troubles had returned.

The BEA crash report states how Lubitz had consulted dozens of doctors about perceived vision troubles and sleeplessness in the months leading up to the crash, with one doctor prescribing antidepressants, including one whose side effects can include suicidal tendencies. Another doctor referred Lubitz to a psychiatric clinic two weeks before the crash, suspecting a potential “psychotic episode,” said Arnaud Desjardin, leader of the BEA’s Germanwings investigation. None of this information was reported to Germanwings or Lufthansa by him nor by his doctors due to Germany’s strict medical confidentiality laws, which is what the BEA says need to change.

The BEA said they should draw up new rules requiring medical workers to warn authorities when a pilot’s mental health could threaten public safety.

admin
By admin March 14, 2016 13:43