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©Signe Wilkinson/Washington Post Writers Group/Cartoonist Group
Who’s Flying My Plane?
  1. Authorities believe the co-pilot of a Germanwings flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany, deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps last week, killing himself and the other 149 people aboard. Officials investigating the crash found that the pilot suffered from depression and had been treated for having suicidal thoughts. In what ways are the passengers being screened as they go through the airport’s security in the cartoon?
  2. How is the pilot being “screened”? How are the screenings different?
  3. What point is the cartoonist trying to make? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  4. Airlines largely rely on self-reporting when tracking the mental health of pilots. What, if anything, should airlines do to make sure their pilots are psychologically fit for the job?
  5. Since the crash, several foreign airlines have instituted new flight protocols requiring that two people be present in the cockpit at all times, mirroring U.S. standards. Do you think this is a good solution? Why or why not?