ATW Editor's Blog

Another media frenzy, but it's still bunkum


Today's news on the Germanwings A320 crash is shocking, tragic, and will have long-term effects on the air transport industry. We are already seeing some of those effects with the announcements by several airlines that they are immediately changing their cockpit procedures. 

What does not change today is that we still don't have all the answers as to why this crash happened. We may know that the copilot deliberately crashed the plane, but not why he did it and what led to his appalling actions. 

So, just as in any accident investigation, it is better not to speculate. 

That won't happen, of course. But as the media jumps on to a different speculation frenzy - how trustworthy are pilots?, "killers in the cockpit" and worse - let's go back to the day of the crash and the speculative comments it generated (and noted in my previous blog). 

Washington Post: "how safe is the A320?"

BBC: "most likely mechanical failure was behind the crash."

And that's from respected media. 

If, as is clearly the case, immediate conclusions drawn on what happened to Germanwings 4U9525 were so far off the mark,  what reason is there to trust the new raft of conclusions being drawn on this pilot in particular, or  - sadly - pilots in general?

Bunkum is bunkum, however "authoritative" it's source. 



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