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RUSH: So, “The copilot of the doomed Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and ‘intentionally’ sent the plane full speed into a mountain in the French Alps, ignoring the pilot’s frantic pounding on the door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday.” It’s amazing how fast they get prosecutors on the case over there. You know, in Europe, the spokesmen are always the prosecutors, not the cops. I mean, it’s all law enforcement.

It’s amazing.

“Copilot Andreas Lubitz’s ‘intention (was) to destroy this plane,’ Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said, laying out the horrifying conclusions reached by French aviation investigators after listening to the last minutes of Tuesday’s Flight 9525. The Airbus A320 was flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when it began to descend from cruising altitude of 38,000 feet after losing radio contact with air traffic controllers. All 150 on board died when the plane slammed into the mountain.”

The prosecutor “said, ‘The most plausible, the most probably, is that the copilot voluntarily refused to open the door of the cockpit for the captain and pressed the button for the descent.’ He said the copilot’s responses, initially courteous in the first part of the trip, became ‘curt’ when the captain began the mid-flight briefing on the planned landing.” Have you noticed that stretching? They don’t want to call this terrorism. They don’t want to call this terrorism.

I guarantee you the people on that plane were terrorized. In fact, it’s being theorized that for… You know, it took eight minutes to descend, and there was not a whole lot of radio contact, and it didn’t seem to be a descent. The theory is the passengers didn’t know ’til the last minute what was happening, and that’s when the screams were heard. Here is the prosecutor. This is the segment of the press conference that has set the world on fire just a bit here.

BRICE ROBIN (via translator): He voluntarily allowed the plane to descend and lose altitude, about 1,000 meters per minute. It’s not normal.

RUSH: No question it’s not normal, but they don’t want to call it terrorism here yet. Folks, they just don’t know. The copilot, 28-year-old German, has a home there. There’s a picture of him sitting by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On Fox & Friends this morning retired Air Force general Thomas McInerney was the guest, and Anna Kooiman said, “He’s 28 years old, a German national.

“They don’t know his religion or his ideology,” and it took ’em a long time to announce the pilots’ names, and they knew these names for a long time. It took them awhile to make that news public. But she asked General McInerney, “What type of background checks do pilots have to go through in that part of the world, and also here in the US? What kind of psychological examinations, things like that, before they’re hired?”

MCINERNEY: They’re pretty extensive, and the thing is is… But they’re very sensitive on religion, and that’s why — because I focus on radical Islam is why — I migrate to that, because there’s a logic and a rationale that they become suicide bombers. For other people, I would call a violent extremist for whatever his ideology is. You’d have to look into that. But the airlines are pretty extensive on that, and I think we’re gonna find as this peels back and we get the facts, the question is what is the ideology behind the terrorism, and that’s what they’re gonna have to look at very extensively.

RUSH: They’re not gonna want to tell us. It’s obvious they’re not gonna want to tell us. They’re trying to stretch this out or delay this as long as they can.

Now, Copilot “Lubitz’ recently deleted Facebook page appeared to show a smiling man in a dark brown jacket posing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in California,” San Francisco. “The page was wiped sometime in the past two days. Lufthansa said Lubitz joined Germanwings in September 2013, directly out of flight school, and had flown 630 hours. The captain had more than 6,000 hours of flying time and been a Germanwings pilot since May 2014, having previously flown for Lufthansa and Condor.

“The circumstances of the crash are likely to raise questions anew about” background checks and this kind of thing. Yeah, they’re actually gonna look into background checks a little bit more extensively here. They’re saying, “Okay, well, maybe the pilot was depressed. Maybe he just wanted to commit suicide. No, folks. You don’t commit suicide and take 150 people with you. I mean, maybe you do. I don’t know.

I don’t have the suicide mentality or gene or what have you. Anyway, whatever they’re trying to do here to avoid calling it terrorism or what have you, doesn’t change the fact that the people on board that plane were terrorized. Ever wondered why plane crashes so captivate people and the attention span? I mean, here we have 150 people died, and they died all at once, and it’s… I’m not being critical of this. I just examine this sociologically. It’s fascinating to me.

The number of people who die in the United States on the highways of this country in automobile accidents is roughly on average 50,000 people a year. The number of people who perish in airplane crashes is way, way below that. But even when there is a massive pileup in an automobile accident, and there are a significant number of deaths, it does not occupy the news cycle for hours and days like a plane crash does. I think there’s more to it than just the number of people. Have you ever thought about why this is?

Why is it that airplane crashes actually are rare compared to other accidents that claim people’s lives? I’ve always said, “If you really want to ban death, if you really want to cut down on the number of deaths, then ban the wheel.” Automobiles are involved in more deaths than smoking cigarettes, playing in the NFL, or any number of things. Yet there’s never even the slightest consideration given to banning the wheel because it’s entirely impractical. Yet so many more people die as the result of wheels being used ever since they’ve been invented.

It’s just fascinating to me.

You know what I think part of it is?

I think part of it is rooted in the fact that even people who claim to not be afraid of flying still think it’s a really unnatural thing to do. And so a plane crash reminds them of how unnatural an act getting in a fuselage or a tube and heading up five miles in the air is. Whereas getting in a car, you’re already on the ground. It’s the old thing. My father owned an airplane, when my brother and I were young. It was a single-engine Cessna 182, and there was, to be honest about it… There was some fear, a little bit fear of flying in certain sectors of the family.

I remember one time somebody saying to my dad, “Well, what happens if the engine quits and you’re up there?”

This plane maxed out at 10,000 feet. It had no oxygen. It was a small plane.

“What happens if you’re up there five or six thousand feet and the engine quits?”

He said, “The engine doesn’t quit.”

I said, “Okay, Dad. The engine doesn’t quit. But what if it does?”

The difference is if the engine quits in the car, you just roll to a stop. You get out and walk the rest of the way or hitchhike or do whatever. But if the engine stops at 5,000 feet or five miles, you’re kind of in trouble. It’s huge. I think it’s rooted in the fact that an airplane crash reminds people that that’s for the birds. Even though the safety factor in terms of traveling — statistically, any way you want to look at it — there’s no comparison in the safest way to travel; it’s flying, hands down.

But people still come back to, “Yeah, but if you happen to be aboard when there’s an engine malfunction, that’s it, if you’re in the air.” And it’s not the case if you’re in a car. If you’re in an electric car and the battery dies, big whoop. You know, you get a tow to the next electrical outlet and you’re back on your way, or what have you. So I think that’s part of the fascination. There’s probably much, much more to it than that. It’s also, you know, if it bleeds, it leads. It’s that kind of stuff. It’s made to order for television news, and it allows all the experts in all the problems we face to come out.

There’s terrorism, there’s any number of things that will draw in the Drive-Bys to covering an airplane crash.


RUSH: No, no. No. I have never been afraid of flying. I never have. For some reason, I have literally no concern about it. I think one of the reasons why is when my father did own that little airplane, I sat next to him. I flew it now and then. I watched him take it off, land it enough times that back then I thought if he had an emergency when he was flying this around, that I could land it. I was confident I could do that. I’d seen it enough. It was single-engine; it wasn’t that complicated.

I mean, I’m talking years of sitting next to him watching him land the airplane. Now, a jet, that’s a whole different thing. I don’t have confidence I could land a jet. I don’t think I have confidence I could slow the thing down enough to land. But for some reason I don’t have the fear. I’m not worried about bad weather. There’s no circumstance I worry about. I trust the pilots. If the weather’s bad, they’ll tell me; if we can make it, we’ll go. So I don’t have that fear.

I’m fortunate I guess and I don’t have any claustrophobia. That’s what bothered John Madden. It’s not that he was afraid of flying. It was that he couldn’t get out of there. He said he was in this narrow tube and once it took off and left the ground he’s in there until somebody else lands it, and that’s what made him nervous. It was mostly a claustrophobia thing. But I just think that even people like me — although I’m gonna exclude myself from this.

But people like me who profess to have no fear, the reason why an airplane crash is fascinating, is because everybody thinks that’s what’s gonna happen. How many times, when you watch an airplane take off, are you still fascinated that it actually happens? I am. Especially if it’s a jumbo jet, like a Boeing 747 Heavy or one of these Airbus A-380s. Even though I understand the aerodynamics of it. Intellectually I understand lift or air pressure differential, whatever you want to call it. I understand it.

It makes perfect sense in the laws of physics. But it still looks impossible. And you still marvel at it every time it happens. On the golf course, when an airplane flies over, everybody stops and looks at the plane, despite how many times have you seen an airplane fly by. And if it’s a military jet doing a flyby, say, at the Super Bowl or a football game and it’s at a thousand or 500 feet and it’s on full afterburner and the noise? I mean, that’s the sound of freedom flying overhead.

You stand up and you cheer and you thank God for flight, and you thank God you’re an American, like I did once at the Super Bowl at San Diego. I shouted shouting, “How can anybody be a Democrat when that happens?” And there were a couple Democrats from Washington sitting in front of me. It was the Redskins playing the Broncos. They turned around they were started shooting me daggers with their eyes, but I didn’t care. Still, when an airplane goes over, people stop.

They watch it. Even though you know it makes perfect sense, you still don’t believe it. So one falling out of the sky makes sense. I think the fascination in watching one of these is rooted in giving thanks you’re not on it, because this is what everybody thinks is a very natural thing to happen. That, in other words, a successful airplane flight is cheating the odds, in people’s subconscious.

I don’t think this is something that they ponder each and every day in their front lobes, but there has to be something. I could be all wet here, but there has to be a reason why an airplane crash totally dominates the news cycle for days sometimes. Even without the added potential aspect of terrorism, it still is something that captivates people. I could be all wet in my theory. But if I am, there’s still something about it psychologically that draws people to it.


RUSH: Everybody’s still obsessed with the motive of the copilot on that Germanwings plane crash. Can anybody ever really know for sure what his motive was besides he wanted to die, and it’s probably pretty clear he wanted to kill everybody on the plane with him? Isn’t that pretty clear? Okay, so we’re gonna search for motive. That means was he a religious extremist of some kind, and if they can’t find anything he’s written or things like that, it’s one of the things we’re never gonna know but people still obsessed by it.


RUSH: Here is Carl in Wyoming as we get started on the phones today. Great to have you, Carl. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. Thanks for taking my call, man.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: Back to your spiel on airplanes. I think with all of the carnage and catastrophe of each one of these passenger airplanes that goes down, each one of us has a survival instinct in us. Somehow we think, “Gosh, we could have made it through that. Where would I have been sitting? What would I have done? How could I have maybe helped prevent it or stop it?” You know, back to “Let’s roll, America.” But then you get what I call the blender effect. Like you turn on the blender, and, man, it’s like you’re not gonna make it through this. But I think every person has a basic survival instinct that —

RUSH: Wait a minute. You’ve been in a blender?

CALLER: Well, no. But looking at some of these airplane crashes? Man, it would have had to have been like a blender. The towers coming down on 9/11 would have been a blender, man. Nobody survives that.

RUSH: I see. So your theory is we have news of a plane crashing into the side of a mountain, and we immediately imagine ourselves to be on it, and ask, “What would we have felt, what would we have done, what would we have done to survive it, how could we have helped?” because of our survivalist instinct, and that’s why we’re fascinated. It could be. It could be. I frankly don’t know how many people imagine being on an airplane that crashes, but it could well be.

I think people give thanks they’re not and I think people do wonder what it must have been like. But I don’t think they want to actually be part of it. He’s calling, by the way, in response to me. I asked an open-ended question last hour: “Why is it that a plane crash dominates news cycles for days, when the number of people who die in a plane crash pales in comparison to the number of people that die in automobile wrecks every year?” It’s not just that large number of people die at one time versus smaller numbers dying in auto accidents. It’s not just that. There’s something else. And this is his attempt to answer the question, his philosophical answer.

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