Flugangst: Fate can be merciless

Very few know the existence of this letter, since the doctor who received it decided not to divulge its macabre content, to prevent further increasing the often sensationalist international journalistic attention that has been shameful enough already on several occasions. I can now write about it since I have the consent of the very same German doctor, a friend of a friend (both asked me not to reveal their names here), who let me read it, due to my deep interest for such strange and bizarre items. Of course I will also omit the name of its unlucky writer.

“Dear Dr. R.R.:

I do not know how to thank you for your invaluable professional help; I finally managed to make the final step! For the first time today, at last, I decided to get on a plane without taking any medication, or sedative whatsoever, well… ultimately without the help of any drug!

Furthermore: I have nothing with me, yet I feel so good! Clean, confident, sure of myself.

Now it seems ridiculous and even embarrassing to confess that I had lived for such a long time, not only with the trivial -even if sometimes deeply incapacitating- fear of flying, it is so, so common, but furthermore, with that specific, weird and delusional, form of it consisting of the terror of being at the mercy of a maniacal suicidal pilot. A circumstance that, as you justifiably and indubitably claimed, has never, ever happened in history of aviation, and which occurrence would be impossible, considering the strict and tight controls that airlines require for their employees, and that you, as a professional, know very well from “the front line” as a consultant to an airline, and profusely illustrated to me.

Thank you so much for your help! See you soon!

P.S. I will certainly show up next week to pay the final installment as agreed.”

This enthusiastic message was send to his psychiatrist by one of the passengers of the Germanwings flight A320, before boarding on the famous airplane that crashed in the Alps following the absurd will of its pilot, who was suffering from severe suicidal tendencies that escaped the psychological controls. Psychiatry -and ultimately science- functioned for the wrong person this time.

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