Traveling is always an interesting experience; personally I find it quite enjoyable. As the saying goes, the journey is just as important as the destination. My favorite mode of transportation is flying. I love the anti-gravity feel of take-offs and the occasional turbulence that reminds me of rollercoasters. Flights have always symbolized an important and adventurous journey to me. However, recently as you may know, a Germanwings flight crashed into the Alps, killing 150 people.
This served as a reminder that no many how many precautions are taken, 100% security is impossible to ensure. According to current intelligence, Mr. Lubitz, the pilot, intentionally crashed the plane into the Alps. The co-pilot repeatedly attempted to get back into the cockpit to prevent descent but was locked out by the other pilot. A previous doctor’s notes indicated that the pilot had depression at one point. While it is unjust to claim that the depression solely led to Mr. Lubitz actions, especially since there are no survivor to attest to Mr. Lubitz’s behavior that day (to determine whether or not he was even depressed at the time), many headlines have linked his depression to his actions.
You don’t often hear pilot suicide leading to an intentional plane crash, yet it has occurred several times in the past. Despite this scare it is good to remember that millions of flight go into the air on a daily basis and tragedies occur very rarely when looking at percentages. A psychologist might say, availability heuristics contribute to the mindset of individuals that plane are more dangerous than daily transport in cars.
A major point that has been emphasized by this horrendous incident is that mental afflictions must be taken seriously. It is often easy to blame the individual and accuse them of inducing their own mental ailment, but often these diseases are a result of personal hardships and life experiences. No matter how much we may hope, these aren’t simply induced by the person, and can’t be wished-away by strong will. Our society needs to accept the seriousness of these diseases by opening up more mental health care centers and making the public more aware of how to deal with these issues.
Now that I have runoff into my own tangent on this issue, let me sum it up by saying this: don’t let this incident be a dissuasion for flying and traveling, rather understand and learn how you can help others afflicted by mental handicaps. I hope you have safe travels 🙂