Health concerns of airline pilots

A statistic that is often trotted out is that you are more likely to be killed in car crash driving to the airport than in the subsequent plane journey. I’m sure the number crunchers are right but that doesn’t stop me gripping the seat as my jumbo comes into land at 100mph.

I’ve been on planes where the passengers have broken out into a congratulatory round of applause as the pilot brings the aircraft down safely – and I’m pretty sure that has never happened on a National Express coach.

Concerns about the safety of air passengers is ultimately governed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which keeps a wealth of data on pilots and the airlines that are registered in the UK. In the past I have done articles about pilots falling asleep, toxic air in the cabins, planes running low on fuels and aircraft being hit by birds.

But in the light of the Germanwings tragedy earlier this year when a suicidal pilot deliberately crashed his plane into the Alps the issue of pilots’ mental health was brought to the fore.

Apparently the CAA didn’t have any data immediately to hand to they got staff to compile information on how many commercial pilots have had their licences taken away because of concerns about their mental health and how many of these pilots have then been allowed back into the cockpit. You can see the data here 20150727Reply.

The data has been put together by the Daily Mirror’s Martin Bagot in a piece in today’s paper, which reveals the scrutiny thatpilots are under. Of course the unseen problem here is one wonders how many pilots keep their mental health problems secret?


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