Home / Health / Push for tougher mental health rules after Germanwings crash

Push for tougher mental health rules after Germanwings crash

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Monday, March 30, 2015, 12:23 AM

Wreckage of the Airbus A320 is seen Thursday at the site of the crash, near Seyne-les-Alpes in the French Alps. A young German co-pilot locked himself alone in the cockpit of Germanwings Flight 9525 and set it on course to crash into an Alpine mountain, killing all 150 people on board, prosecutors said.EMMANUEL FOUDROT/REUTERS

Wreckage of the Airbus A320 is seen Thursday at the site of the crash, near Seyne-les-Alpes in the French Alps. A young German co-pilot locked himself alone in the cockpit of Germanwings Flight 9525 and set it on course to crash into an Alpine mountain, killing all 150 people on board, prosecutors said.

A review of rules and regulations surrounding the mental health of airline pilots is urgently needed following the Germanwings crash, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

“The current rules surrounding psychological problems in pilots and when to report those problems are often vague and disparate,” Schumer said.

He said the Federal Aviation Administration needs to consider who administers psychological testing, how often it is done, and under what circumstances should the information be turned over to employers.

RELATED: Germanwings pilot heard on video recorder screaming ‘open the goddamn door’

“There are serious privacy concerns when it comes to medical records, particularly when it comes to mental health,” Schumer said.

Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger appears on CBS' "Face The Nation" Sunday to discuss the rules and regulations surrounding the mental health of airline pilots in the wake of the Germanwings crash.CBS

Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger appears on CBS’ “Face The Nation” Sunday to discuss the rules and regulations surrounding the mental health of airline pilots in the wake of the Germanwings crash.

“But when you’re talking about public safety, some privacy is often given up.”

But the situation is not extremely dire among American pilots, Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger said on CBS’ “Face The Nation.”

He noted that 75% of American airline pilots have military backgrounds, meaning they’ve been through a rigorous screening process. Most U.S. pilots have also worked for numerous carriers before being hired by a major airline, meaning they’ve been screened several times.

“Professional pilots are the most scrutinized professional group that exist,” said Sullenberger, who landed a US Airways jet on the Hudson River in January 2009.


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