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Incidents

Pilot Accused of Threatening to Crash Aircraft Over Marital Discord

Pilot Accused of Threatening to Crash Aircraft Over Marital Discord
Joe Cortez

Released documents allege pilot threatened to crash flight over divorce dispute.

Newly uncovered police documents claim a pilot threatened to deliberately crash an aircraft in his command if his wife left him just months before the Germanwings Flight 9525 incident. In a report by Britain’s The Times, the pilot allegedly made his threats via text message in January 2015.

According to the newspaper report, the pilot was preparing to fly from Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to Japan when he sent the alleged message to his wife. In his message, the unidentified pilot – reported by The Mirror to be in his 40s – threatened to crash his aircraft after takeoff and kill all 200 passengers aboard the aircraft if his wife left him. The reports did not note which airline the pilot was flying for nor the type of aircraft involved.

After receiving the text messages, the pilot’s wife contacted police, who arrested the pilot prior to takeoff. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, the pilot remains in psychiatric care.

The alleged incident took place just two months before 4U9525 was brought down by the deliberate actions of a pilot. Investigators believe the first officer locked out the captain from the aircraft, allowing him the time to bring the Airbus A320 down in the French Alps. All 150 people aboard the aircraft were killed as a result of the incident. Since then, the European Aviation Safety Administration instituted a rule requiring two people to be in the cockpit at all times.

According to the Daily Mail, this is not the first time an Italian pilot was removed from duty after a psychiatric episode. Italian pilots’ union Anpac told the newspaper an Alitalia pilot was removed from duty over a similar situation in 2013 but has since been reinstated on the condition of regular check-ups.

[Photo: Getty]

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. dvs7310

    March 8, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Considering there is only one airline that runs regular passenger service from FCO to Japan, then it’s pretty easy to guess this was an AZ pilot.

  2. zeiman

    March 9, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Note to self – I will not be flying Alitalia any time soon. If a pilot is mentally disturbed enough to make such a gesture, he should never be allowed back in the cockpit.

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