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German "suicide" pilot

I don’t know if I’m just being completely crazy, but does anyone else keep thinking it’s going to come out that he had, or was being investigated for MS?

The hospital treating him has denied it was for depression, and rumours are emerging that it was for some unspecified sight problem.

He seems to have learnt something that he thought or feared would end his career. I keep having this feeling at the back of my mind that he’s found out he had something serious, and that vision problems in an apparently young, fit person might point to MS.

I know we shouldn’t really speculate, and it’s bound all to come out in the end, but has the thought flitted through anyone else’s mind, or am I being completely irrational?

I’ve never been suicidal as a result of my MS - either at the time of diagnosis, or since. And I’m not suggesting the vast majority of people would be. But if it threatened the career you’d dreamt of since the age of 14? Personally, I worked to live, not lived to work - I never had a job I was that much in love with. But if someone did, and it became apparent he was never going to be cleared to go back to it?

Tina

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The German police discovered a series of torn-up sick notes when they raided Lubitz’s apartment. The most recent notes were signed by two separate doctors. He had been suffering long-term serious mental health issues but had managed to keep recent details from his employers.

What amazes me is that these doctors - knowing he was a pilot did not automatically alert the airline. And why would he want sick notes - if he had no intention of staying away from work. Lots of questions to be answered.

He started his commercial pilots training in 2008. But he took an extended break and is said to have spent over a year in psychiatric treatment. Documents forwarded by Lufthansa’s Aero Medical Centre to German authorities show that Lubitz had suffered from depression and anxiety. lt was 6yrs before he completed his training.

Should he have been allowed to fly - No - and certainly not commercially. l am surprised that nobody stopped him.

He certainly did not sound like the sort of person who is fit to fly. And if he was my son - l would have made sure that the authorities knew about his mental health.

He was a fitness fanatic - and had ran several marathons.

Do l think he might have had a diagnosis of MS - well no- l do not. ln UK, a MS diagnosis requires you to inform the DVLA - and the GP also does. You would have thought Germany were even stricter.

lt was a unnecessary tragedy. And hopefully, new legislation will help prevent it happening again.

Bless all the grieving families.

I do not think the recent sick notes were anything to do with depression. The hospital treating him has expressly denied they were treating him for this, but he has been described as “having undergone diagnostic tests” - for what, then?

I think the depression years and years ago is a complete red herring, and he recently discovered something else was wrong - something that would not be compatible with a flying career.

Tina

It sure is a bafflingly interesting story. Of course we are all going to shout why didnt anyone tell his employers?

the only good thing to come out of this terrible trajedy, is that other airlines will now change/tighten up their rules.

A very sad loss of life caused by just 1 person.

Sad indeed…whether caused by MS or not.

pollx

I gather confidentiality laws may be even stricter in Germany than they are here, meaning the doctors could have been breaking the law if they’d approached his employer without his consent.

Besides, if he’d accepted the sick notes, why would they have any reason to suspect he would tear them up and report to work anyway? Most people, when they accept a sick note, that’s what they were after - to clear it with their employers. You wouldn’t expect them to take it home, bin it, and continue to go to work. He’s obviously done a very good job of making it look as if he intended to submit the sick notes - and possibly he did, when he left the surgery - but it’s only when he’s got home and thought about it, he’s decided to tear them up and go to work anyway. Not sure how any doctor could predict a patient might do that. Most people moan if they can’t get a sick note - not destroy one they got!

T.

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The conspiracy theorists are coming out to play now, so what next?

x

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This isn’t just a suicide, it was murder of 149 other people! If he had been suicidal because of a diagnosis he’d just got he could have just killed himself in some other way, and not taken all those other lives. People who suffer from depression don’t normally kill 149 other people. To say that he was depressed and that’s why he crashed the plane is like saying that the tragedy at Dunblane was the result of depression, or that the Yorkshire ripper was depressed, etc, etc. There has to be a much bigger problem! I’ve no doubt that more will come to light.

An absolute tragedy that could, possibly, been prevented.

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That’s why I think he was suffering from a mental health illness Tina.

By the sounds of it he was acting very strangely. Why take 150 innocent people with him if it was a case that he wanted to commit suicide. Why not just kill himself. And even tearing up the sick notes was acting in a very risky way.

I really don’t think his thinking was normal in any shape or form and I agree that the parents should have said something to the employer.

And as for looking such a fit man this is one of the things that is used to diagnose mental health problems. A lot who suffer from this are obsessed with physical training to be point that I have known people who have been banned from gyms because of overusing it during bouts of depression.

Poor people and their families and friends. I also feel for the family of the co pilot.

Shazzie xx

Can you imagine the horror that was felt by the co-pilot and the passengers - they new they were going to crash - their voices can be heard on the flight recorder - screaming. The poor babies - oh - this is going to haunt me now. l don’t think l ever want to get on a plane again.

No - if he felt suicidal because of impending ill health he would never have contemplated taking all these innocent people with him. He must have seen them all getting on the plane.

He could have taken a glider up - on his own - and crashed into a mountain. Apparantly, he flew a glider frequently over this area of the Alps.

We shall never know now. His girl-friend has said that he had said that ‘Everyone will remember my name’ - does that sound like a sane person.

Tina, I am sure that it has crossed the minds of most of us who have read that he was under the care of a neurologist as well as a psychiatrist. But neurology is a broad church, as is psychiatry, so we must wait and see. One thing’s for sure; whatever his medical problems (and we all have plenty of those), they weren’t the half of it.

Alison

it’s all so very sad.

tragic for him as well as the passengers and crew.

germany will be asking lots of questions about how to avoid it happening again.

may they all rest in peace

carole x

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Hi Alison,

Yes, I agree that his circumstances were “complex” to say the least. But I too read that at least one neurologist had been involved, and that he (the pilot that is) had fears for his sight. Apparently he was diagnosed with an unspecified “something” only last month - but the hospital has denied it was depression.

Perhaps I’m putting two and two together and getting seventeen, but it certainly seems to me he had some bad news rather recently that tipped him over the edge.

No doubt all will come out - well, certainly what he’d been diagnosed with - although we’ll never know for certain if he set off that morning already knowing what he was going to do, or was seized with a sudden impulse when the opportunity arose.

I dunno, it just keeps popping into my head: “He had MS, didn’t he?” Bad news for MSers if it does turn out that way, but already bad news for anyone who has, or has ever had, depression, as that is already being discussed as if it were synonymous with: “potential mass murderer”, and as if nobody who’s ever had depression (even years ago) should ever again be allowed to hold a position with responsibility for others.

Unfortunately, I think, rather than making things safer, this is going to make employed people more afraid to go to the doctor about anything, and certainly about sharing any health concerns with employers, in case they are immediately suspected of posing a threat to colleagues and the public. Which the overwhelming majority of ill people don’t - even those with mental illness.

Tina

and no bodies found - horrendous!