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Mental health of pilots under scanner after China Eastern 737-800 jet crash

An anonymous survey of 1,848 pilots in 2015 found 12.6% suffered from depression while 4.1% experienced suicidal thoughts. How would you feel about getting on a flight knowing that the pilot had been having suicidal thoughts? If you’re a regular passenger, you’ve probably already done it. ( More...

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Q: How would you feel about getting on a flight knowing that the pilot had been having suicidal thoughts?

A: Better than if I were getting on a flight with a pilot having homicidal thoughts.
Brian Chandler 8
Unfortunatly it's not a huge leap from "I want to kill myself" to "I want to kill myself and idgaf it others get hurt too".

They know they're leaving that body and won't have to deal with or ackowledge what they've done as collateral damage.
Walt Leuci 2
they may think that they won't have to deal with the aftermath of their actions but hell awaits them.
Brian Chandler 5
I mean that's what your religion says, and that's okay to believe that but may not be the truth.

Anyways, if the prevailing theory is correct that it was retaliation against their employer they were both suicidal and homicidal in their actions.
Walt Leuci -3
That's what the God's Word, the bible says & that's the truth.
Bill Butler 3
The line between the two is really blurred. The end result is the same.
btweston 4
I don’t know, man. Not a huge difference when they’re driving the bus.
Paul Miller 15
I see BOTH sides of this issue, but IF a Pilot is that depressed or has feelings that he want's to die ? then please don't take lots of others with you in your last dying act on Earth.
Cleffer 13
In my experience, having those feelings and ACTING on those feelings are two distinct places.
srobak 1
but they are right next to each other - and all it takes is the smallest bad thing to set that wheel into catastrophically dangerous motion.

people who have those feelings are literally one heartbeat away from acting upon them.

that is not a risk we can afford to take. we have a very deeply rooted mental illness problem in society right now - and it is beyond time for drastic action to keep the rest of us safe.
Edward Bardes 3
The problem is that those people don't know if being honest about their problems will spell negative consequences for them, and therefore don't trust making their issues known to others.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Dennis Stockton 9
How could anyone be depressed living under the glorious leadership of the CCP?
Edward Bardes 1
Even if that was a reason, that doesn't mean it's the only reason.
cos3asg 8
This is one of those insidious societal problems that quickly becomes the “elephant in the room” when pilots are asked to talk about it. Even though mental health is one of the most discussed issues of today, there’s still a huge stigma attached to the whole “how are you doing today” set of questions. Solutions? Not really my bailiwick, but the establishment of a culture that promotes -rather than punishes- such discussions would be a damned good start. I fear it will be some time in coming, though, and hopefully before any more lives are unnecessarily ended. PK
Edward Bardes 3
It's even worse when people with mental health issues don't trust others to have their best interests in getting them the help they need.
Dale Ballok 1
Mental health. We in this country need to examine and expand awareness, studies, and treatments, due to the growing number of cases that cause undue and widespread harm to individuals and innocent bystanders.
ADXbear 8
This is very tough to diagnose, the only way other than the pilot themself is observations be coworkers, flight attendants and family situations. Close monitoring of financial status,like overpowering debts, devorced, death in the family, all things found in background security checks, and even then it could be hidden by the pilot.
jgoedker 3
Wow! As if being a pilot isn't hard enough. What's next? A chip inserted into your brain? The thought of losing your ticket is always with every pilot. Your suggestions certainly wouldn't make it any better.
boughbw 2
Lots of people are already subject to background checks that include these very things.
o 艹 5
As a Chinese flying friend, I was shocked by the accident.
AWAAlum 4

[This poster has been suspended.]

AWAAlum 4
I personally don't believe there is one clear answer to that. My mother-in-law took her life, and in retrospect we realized she had been on that path for a long while. She had put all of her papers in order for us, she had done renovations on the house to simplify resale, all sorts of things. What I'm saying is for some, it's a long, detailed, well thought out process, while for others it may be a very sudden but very intense event. I can't imagine those answers ever being figured out.
Klaas Tiktak 5
Seems this happened a lot more after cockpits became fully closed furing flight. I believe that isolating pilot from passengers by a locked doors may disconnect them from passengers and encourages execution suicidal ideas.
Dale Ballok 2
So, in your opinion, that fact that the flight crew, being secured behind a locked door, causes anxieties and claustrophobic feelings that lead to suicidal thoughts? And the fact they can’t walk up and down the aisle and chat with the passengers? I’d think that locked door gives them just the opposite feeling, that of security, in that no one can storm the flight deck and take over the controls, possibly killing then in the process.
Klaas Tiktak 3
I do not believe it creates anxieties and claustrophobic feelings. Just less empathic with the passengers that are killed by the suicidal act.
Dale Ballok 1
Sorry, but I don’t follow your logic.How can a disconnect with the passengers lead to suicidal thoughts? Those kinds of thoughts have nothing to do with the passengers, and they don’t develop just after getting airborne. Deciding to commit suicide anywhere doesn’t happen on the spur of the moment, but is premeditated.
AWAAlum 4
I THINK what was meant, was the individual is suicidal, but is not concerned about taking pax with because they're so completely removed from the flight deck. They are mentally simply not included in the scenario.
Dale Ballok 0
Thx for putting a different perspective on that comment. Was originally difficult to decipher.
jgoedker 3
Just have to wonder why the issue with flight Quantis flight 72, an A330 (computer software issues causing loss of flight control) was more or less swept under the rug while a virtually identical issue with the 737 Max nearly put Boeing out of business. The lessons to be learned here seem more like, don't upset the bureaucrats. Perhaps knowing a computer is all that's between you and the flight controls is another contributing factor to a nervous crew member. Especially since those computers are there to save the company money, not necessarily to enhance safety. Just saying, there are many issues pilots must deal with that most professions are ever confronted with. The QA72 issue was enough to take a seasoned pilot to early retirement.
srobak 3
considering that the whackadoos are starting to outnumber the level-headed folks in almost all walks of life - I would prefer, expect and even demand that commercial pilots around the globe be extremely heavily, exhaustively and excessively scrutinized. remember - little kids grow up to be pilots, and whackadoo extremism and imbalance is rampant in the schools which influences the kids. just look at the videos re-posted by libs of tik tok. now imagine a child influenced by one of those degenerates ends up flying a plane some day.

folks are so quick to want to enact red flag laws and strip guns from law abiding people's hands after events from this past week... so where are they on the rampantly increasing maniac pilot massacres? We've had what - 3 of those in recent history?

at least when there is a mass shooter people have the option to flee, tackle, divert or even shoot back before the body count gets high.

with a whackadoo at the stick and the "protections" now in place on commercial aircraft - there are no such options available, and 200-500 innocent people can be wiped out in the blink of an eye - not to mention causalities on the ground.

scrutinize the hell out of em, at this point.
AWAAlum 3
I can't imagine how, but neither can I argue with your rationale.
Brian Chandler 3
Problem is it seems he did intentionally down the plane. The US *knows* this, the public *knows* this and China *knows* this.

But the world will never get anything beyond the stripped down black box info given to the USA as recquired by law.

We will never get cockpit voice recordings, we will never get the full data output to show which pilot did it, and maybe a motive. All because the CCP doesn't want people to know that their system of absolute control is crumbling. Fuck the CCP
The FO was a demoted captain with a ton of hours... so maybe there's your motive right there.
Brian Chandler 6
I'm aware and I agree but at this point that's purely speculation. We don't even know if it was the FO who downed the plane and we don't know why.

Cockpit voice recordings would surely shed some light on who, and perhaps why.
Dale Ballok 2
great wildblueyonder 2
Determining the mental health of pilots (or anyone else for that matter) is virtually impossible. It is the same as determining that a person will shoot up schools before they have done anything illegal. One could postulate that all commercial airlines ought to be totally under the control of autopilots from takeoff to landing and that pilots would have to get approval and a satellite signal to allow them control when circumstances for such control are valid. This of course will never happen so passengers will simply continue to gamble on each trip that their pilots are not psychotic.
boughbw 1
So a hacker could control a plane when the pilots could not?
great wildblueyonder 1
nothings perfect. Under autopilot control there are no external links to anything that can control an aircraft. Most long haul flights are under autopilot anyway. I didn't say that satellite permission to fly was satellite control of the aircraft only that it would allow pilot controls.
Given the poor record mankind has in identifying psycho's before they act, I'd rather have electronics in control. They can be triple reduncant.
Dale Ballok 1
Well stated!
Michael Meyers 1
There are a lot of wack jobs in the cockpit. We all know it but don’t want to admit it.
Rudolf Fab -4
.... better check whether he was - so named - vaccinated with a poison ...
rbt schaffer -1
Fly up side down... Have Crack Up


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