Airline Pilots Flying With Suicidal Thoughts

Airline Pilots Flying With Suicidal Thoughts.

The 2015 Germanwings tragedy that killed 150 in the French Alps highlighted the extant problem of airline pilots’ suicidal ideation prior to flying. According to the recent international survey by Harvard University, 4.1% of pilots were reported to have been contemplating suicide at least once in the preceding two weeks of the survey, and 12.6% were suffering from depression. A fair number refused to disclose their condition. Understanding the complexities of doctor-patient confidentiality in different countries, the risks are nevertheless intolerable. With 4,000 commercial flights on any given day, that works out approximately to be about 668 flights a day at risk. This article explores those risks.

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