"Thousands" of Airline Pilots Contemplate Suicide

By Gary Cutlack on at

The mental health of airline pilots is probably something we should be a bit worried about, seeing as they routinely fly big bits of metal filled with a sort of petrol and children through the skies. And it's not a rosy picture of Aviators and cheeky slaps on the bottom over international waters where it doesn't count up there in the driver's seat, with a study suggesting that 4,000 commercial flights each day are being controlled by pilots who have had suicidal thoughts at some time or other in their recent lives.

The sensitive data was compiled by a team at Harvard University, which found that 4.1 per cent of the pilots it asked had thought about killing themselves on at least one occasion in the previous fortnight; which if multiplied up over the global fleet of metal potential death tubes, could mean thousands of pilots up there on any given day are just one unusually miserable commute to work away from doing themselves in -- possibly while "on the job" too.

Professor Joseph Allen from Harvard said of the report: "We found that many pilots currently flying are managing depressive symptoms, and it may be that they are not seeking treatment due to the fear of negative career impacts." [Environmental Health via Telegraph]

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