Was Germanwings Plane Crash Suicide or Mass Murder?



French emergency workers at the site of the crash.

Hilda Delgado, Staff Writer

While the world mourns the lives lost in the devastating Germanwings plane crash, speculation from the public as to whether or not the crash was an premeditated mass murder or a suicide has increased. However, there are salient features of the pilot’s behavior that suggest that he had carefully planned his actions. The crash was not a form of suicide, but it was a murder that had been planned beforehand.

“This whole crash is a tragedy, and those passengers did not deserve to die with him,” freshman Celina Montero said.

A day after finding the mangled and blackened flight data recorder from the Alps plane crash site in southeastern France, investigators said the box revealed that the pilot had been researching forms of suicide days before the crash. More importantly, a French prosecutor said that while the co-pilot was alone with the pilot locked out of the cockpit, he manipulated the flight management system to manage the descent. Even with factual evidence that the pilot’s actions suggest premeditation, some still believe that this should be considered a spontaneous act of suicide.

“If a person kills himself and 149 other people, another word should be used – not suicide,” Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said.

This crash simply cannot be referred to as suicide. Suicide is defined as the intention of killing oneself. The pilot did not only kill himself, but he killed the rest of the passengers on the plane as well. We should not shy away from interpreting the crash this way. Although these may be small actions, they resulted in a massive tragedy that are determinant between a suicide and a mass murder. What they determine is that it was an intentional mass murder.