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Can we trust the unseen pilot?

The allegations that a co-pilot intentionally crashed a commercial airliner killing all 150 people aboard in an apparent act of murder-suicide is unbelievably disturbing, especially to those of us who fly frequently ("Can anyone prevent future Germanwings tragedies?" March 31). One news report said that in the past 10 years there have been eight such incidents, although some involved private pilots flying alone. There will be a good deal of discussion in the coming months to help prevent such incidents from happening again. I suggest a practice the airlines could implement immediately.

The flight-deck crew is generally anonymous to passengers. We hear their brief comments on the public address system but rarely see them. It might help if the pilot and co-pilot took 30 seconds before leaving the gate to be seen and say hello. They could introduce themselves, say a few words about the flight and leave us with a friendly wave. I believe this would help in two ways. First, it might reassure passengers to see those with whom we have entrusted our lives. Second seeing passengers' faces could be a reminder to the flight crew of all the people who are counting on them and maybe make it a little harder for anyone in the driver's seat who may have intentions that none of us expects.

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Paul Minehart

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