The probe into the Germanwings Flight 9525 crash in France has revealed a disturbing fact. After alysing the cockpit voice recorder, investigators have said that the co-pilot locked the chief pilot out of the cockpit, then took the twin-engine Airbus A320 plane down for 10 minutes to crash it over the French Alps. It has now come to light that the co-pilot was hiding an illness from his employers and had been declared ‘unfit to work’ by a doctor, according to German authorities. This incident has similarities with the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, attributed to deliberate action by the chief pilot in switching off the plane transponder, diverting it from its flight path to crash it somewhere into the Indian Ocean. The plane remains missing till date. For air passengers who board flights with a prayer on their lists, will technology be the answer to such rogue pilots in the not-too-distant future? A new generation of smart cars are already in prototype stage, capable of ‘communicating’ with each other and smart road sensors through their onboard computers. Such cars will be impossible to crash even if the driver wants to do so. Can we dream of smart airplanes too, with new-age intelligent onboard computers capable enough to over-ride acts of rogue pilots and land passengers safely? Human error and outright mischief needs such technology for correction.
Neutralising Rogue Pilots