The Aviation Safety Network lists 8 examples since 1976 of instances where pilots deliberately took their own lives by crashing commercial jets–often with tragic results for innocent passengers. If French officials are correct about what happened on Germanwings Flight 4U99525, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz will make that number 9. (This doesn’t include the number of solo pilots of small planes.)
The officials have not yet used the term suicide in the Germanwings case, but the co-pilot apparently locked the pilot out of the cockpit and manually accelerated the descent. The most recent case before this week occured in 2013, when 33 people were killed after LAM Flight 470 “entered a rapid descent while en route between Maputo and Luanda and crashed in Namibia.” All 33 people aboard were killed.