Today, many of us are just beginning to absorb the unthinkable loss that has happened as a result of the apparent actions of the copilot in command of the German Wings Airbus 320 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.
For reasons we are may never truly understand, it appears this person made the decision to end his life and the lives of all 140 souls on board.
I’ve written about mass grief and public tragedy in the past. When horrific events occur like the one being discussed here, it touches all of to our core. The particulars of what may have led to this terrible incident are still being investigated. It may take some time for us to get a better ideal of the dynamics that were at play.
Sadly, oh so sadly – we have seen similar incidents in the past, including the events of 9/11. I will quickly walk you through five you may not know about:
1. Silk Air Flight 186 (1997)
104 people perished after the plane crashed under a cloud of speculation that it was intentional. To this day, there remains dispute over what truly may have happened.
2. Egypt Air Flight 990 (1999)
217 people were killed after the aircraft plunged into the Atlantic Ocean. Speculation of pilot suicide remains a point of discussion for many impacted by the crash and in the aviation community.
3. Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 (2013)
The flight crashed en route from Angola to Mozambique. 33 people died. As time went on, information surfaced that suggested the crash may have been intentional.
4. Royal Air Morac Flight 630 (1994)
Flight 630 was a scheduled passenger flight from Agadir, Morocco to Casablanca using an ATR 42 type aircraft. It was determined by the commission investigating the crash which killed 40 that the pilot intentionally disconnected the auto-pilot system.
5. Pacific Airlines Flight 773 (1964)
This aircraft crashed en route from Reno to San Francisco killing 44 people. It was later determined the cause of this tragedy was a murder suicide. Investigators determined that the identified shooter, Francisco Paula Gonzales, purchased over $100,000 of life insurance the day prior to the incident.
My purpose in writing this post is to simply speak to the unthinkable grief that has settled in among the family and friends of the passengers onboard flight 9525 and to the deep feelings of loss felt in Germany, here in the United States and around the world.
The emotional impact of this event reminds all of us of our very human vulnerability and that tomorrow is not promised. Life is such a precious gift – as are the people who touch our hearts each day.
Never forget this and be mindful of your relationships. All of us should hug our children today, our spouses, friends and other loved ones and remind them how important they are to us.
On Angels Wings
More information will no doubt become available over the next several days and weeks about Germanwings Flight 9525.
For now, I am lighting a symbolic candle here at home in memory of all who were lost on the flight and as a way of showing my support. Please do the same and feel free to share this post with others.
Truly – the innocent lives lost on flight 9525 are on angel’s wings.