On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, a German plane flying from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany was crashed on purpose by Andres Lubitz, its 27-year-old co-pilot. All 150 people on board were killed. When the pilot went to the bathroom, Lubitz locked the cockpit and took the plane off auto-pilot, leading to a 8-minute direct descent into the mountainside. Authorities have uncovered evidence that helps know what happened but doesn’t explain why the co-pilot did it. Listen to learn how this tragedy is changing the airline industry.
Listen to the Story from NPR
Listening Comprehension Questions:
1. Describe the last few minutes of the plane’s descent. What were both pilots doing?
2. What red flag have investigators found in the co-pilot’s flight training history?
3. Why are mandatory yearly psychological checks flawed?
4. What have investigators found in the co-pilot’s apartment that can help explain his actions?
5. How has this tragedy changed the airline industry so-far?
Classroom Discussion Themes
1. How can untreated mental illness lead to tragedy?
2. How can we better screen pilots?