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Germanwings Crash Raises Questions About Pilot Requirements

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The intentional crash of a Germanwings airplane, that killed everyone on-board, is raising a lot of questions about cockpit procedures and pilot regulations.

Investigators say the cockpit voice recordings make it clear 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz wanted to destroy the plane. Those close to the investigation say you can hear the pilot of the plane, pounding on the cockpit door, locked outside and trying to get inside. Many passengers may not have known their plane was about to crash in the French Alps.

Many people are now asking what kind of requirements are in place to prevent something like this from happening.

Commercial airlines in the U.S. must have two aviation specialists in the cockpit at all times -- either a pilot, co-pilot or flight attendant.

"This was regulated after 9/11", explains former pilot Denny Kelly.

The two-person cockpit requirement is deemed a safety enhancement, used to ward off a possible security breach on a flight. But Kelly, who heads a Aviation Security firm, says the actions taken by the Germanwings pilot are unlikely to be stopped by an FAA rule.

"There's nothing you can do. You can't look into somebody's head and see how they're going to react to certain stresses", Kelly assessed.

Emotional and psychological assessments of pilots may be conducted during initial hiring processes, according to Kelly says, but most evaluations for job performance for commercial aviators focus on ability to control the duties of flying the jet.

Ken Jenkins, a Dallas-based emergency response expert who's dealt with the horrors of plane crashes, says expect to see airlines adjust their evaluations of pilots, based on the concern of the actions of the Germanwings co-pilot.

"What we're going to see as we move forward is a redesign of psychological factors being measured (for pilots)."

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