By Rich Zeoli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – On Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Rich Zeoli talked to Arthur Wolk, a lawyer that specializes in aviation litigation about the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps on Tuesday. Officials today revealed that the co-pilot deliberately acted to cause the crash when the pilot left the cockpit momentarily.
Wolk thinks leaving the co-pilot alone was a breach of protocol.
“I’m, of course, troubled by the fact that all airliners require two crew members to fly them. They are certified by the government to be flown by two pilots, so that if one pilot leaves, you’re already violating the certification basis for the airplane.”
He suggested that changes must be made to provide pilots access to the bathroom and the cockpit simultaneously.
“Let’s take the example of, unfortunately, Germanwings. It’s a short flight, if a pilot can’t relieve himself before the flight and wait two hours before he has to go again, then really, maybe he is, medically, unsuited to be a pilot. In the case of longer flights, it seems to me that these aircraft lack one fundamental requirement and that is access to a restroom from the cockpit. They don’t have it. They should have it because a two pilot airplane should have two pilots in the cockpit at all times.”
Wolk stated that 9/11 caused the airlines and government officials to overreact to one set of circumstances, while overlooking the potential for the catastrophe that happened in this case.
“It shows you a shortsightedness on the part of the government regulators. They were thinking of an external threat to the cockpit instead of an internal threat to the cockpit.”
He was not sure whether to call this an act of terrorism, but was firm in his belief the tragedy could have been stopped.
“It depends on how you define terrorism. Certainly, the achievement of fear on the part of all aircraft and airplane and airline travelers has been achieved. The question is what the goal was of this young man? Was he a disgruntled person who was simply unhappy in his life and wanted to end it? Then, perhaps, it’s not the classic definition of terrorism. But if he had another agenda, and it was to strike fear in the hearts of all air travelers, then, perhaps, one could appropriately apply terrorism as a moniker to it. My view is it doesn’t matter what you call it. 150 people are dead and they’re dead for reasons that are really preventable.”