Friday, March 27, 2015

Accompanied Suicide

The recent Germanwings air crash in the French Alps is being described now as a deliberate act (link); the dead co-pilot had a "psychological illness" that reportedly caused the crash.

A similar crash in 1982 killed 24 people, when Japan Air Lines pilot Seiji Katagiri (片桐清二機長) dove his Flight 350 DC-8 (JA8061) into Tokyo Bay. JAL crew reportedly had been unwilling to work with senior pilot Katagiri due to his odd behaviour, so he typically flew with a quite junior crew who'd little or no choice. Captain Katagiri survived the crash; he was cleared of responsibility after being judged insane (心神喪失の状態にあった).

Katagiri's name is officially unmentioned now in Japan, maybe in respect to illness & privacy. In such case of diminished responsibility, Japan Air Lines seems all the more at fault. They had warnings of trouble, did little or nothing, and 24 people died. Very sad...

The world of work can be close to the edge. How many insane people are around us, and what should be done with them? Can trouble be identified before it erupts and kills?