Germanwings crash: Calls for new rules on reporting mental health

An Airbus A320 flown by the Germanwings crashed  on the way from Barcelona to Duesseldorf a year ago. Picture: AP

An Airbus A320 flown by the Germanwings crashed on the way from Barcelona to Duesseldorf a year ago. Picture: AP

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INVESTIGATORS probing the Germanwings air crash have called for new world rules requiring medical professionals to warn authorities when a pilot’s mental health could threaten public safety.

Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf crashed in the French Alps on 24 March last year, killing 150 people including three Britons.

Co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U9525 Andreas Lubitz. Picture: Getty Images

Co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U9525 Andreas Lubitz. Picture: Getty Images

An earlier report found ­evidence suggesting that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who had previously been treated for depression, deliberately crashed the aircraft after ­locking the pilot out of the cockpit.

French air accident bureau BEA has now published its final report on the crash, ­urging new rules on medical reporting about pilots.

The Britons killed were Paul Bramley, a 28-year-old from Hull who was studying ­hospitality and hotel ­management at Cesar Ritz College in Lucerne and was about to start an internship, Martyn ­Matthews, a 50-year-old father-of-two from ­Wolverhampton who worked as a senior quality manager, and seven-month-old Julian Pracz-Bandres, from ­Manchester who had been travelling with his ­mother, Spanish-born Marina ­Bandres Lopez-Belio, 37.

The report found that a ­doctor had referred Lubitz to a psychiatric clinic a fortnight before the crash.

It said a number of doctors who treated the 27-year-old in the weeks before the crash did not inform authorities about concerns around his mental health.

• READ MORE: Germanwings co-pilot crash prompts safety review

Families of the victims had previously been told Lubitz had seen 41 doctors in recent years but under German law none of them was able to alert his employers to his state of mind.

The BEA said that because Lubitz had not informed ­anyone about the doctors’ warnings, “no action could have been taken by the authorities or his employer to prevent him from flying”.

Arnaud Desjardin, who led the investigation, said at a press briefing that experts found the co-pilot’s symptoms at that time “could be compatible with a psychotic episode”, but this information had not been communicated to ­Germanwings.

An interim report last year showed that in 2009, six years before the crash, Lubitz’s Class 1 medical certificate was not revalidated due to depression and the fact he was taking medication to treat it.

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