Can We Prevent the Next Germanwings Crash?

As an Airline Captain, I Know How Stressful Pilots’ Jobs Are—and How Difficult It Is to Change That

Over two months after co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed a Germanwings plane into the Alps, airlines and regulators are still debating how to prevent such a tragedy from repeating itself. Recently, in his first newspaper interview since the crash, Lufthansa’s CEO suggested random medical checks on pilots. If only it were so simple.

As a captain for a worldwide charter company based in Southern California, I know that from a statistical standpoint, flying on a scheduled airline is safer than ever—and cheaper, too. But those cheap fares come with a …