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Germanwings Crash: Pilots Should Face Mental Health Tests, Experts Say

Pilots should undergo psychological testing and two people should be in the cockpit at all times, experts say in the wake of the Germanwings crash.

All airline pilots should undergo psychological testing and two crew members should be in the cockpit at all times, experts recommended Friday in the wake of the Germanwings crash.

Airlines should randomly test pilots for drugs and alcohol and there should be “robust” oversight of annual medical checks, a panel told European Union officials.

The recommendations came in a review ordered after Andreas Lubitz crashed a Germanwings Airbus A320 into the French Alps in March, killing all 150 people on board.

German prosecutors say Lubitz, who had suffered severe depression and may have feared losing his job, had researched suicide methods and concealed an illness from his employer.

“If improvements are to be made … in order to help prevent future accidents or incidents, we will take the necessary action,” said Violeta Bulc, European Union Transport Commissioner.

A memorial to the victims of the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash in southeastern France.JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET / AFP - Getty Images

The recommendations were made by a task force of experts — drawn from airlines, flight crews, doctors and aviation authorities — led by Europe's aviation safety regulator, EASA.

It recommended an international medical database with the details of medical check-ups that determine whether pilots are fit to fly.

However, there was no mention of changes to the design of cockpit doors.

“This report is the result of a thorough analysis with practical recommendations, so that such a tragic event does not happen again,” EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky added.