The mental health of a pilot needs to be monitored minutely
Sweta Ranjan | March 30, 2015
The sky suddenly seems scary. Firstly a Malaysian aircraft goes missing in March 2014, then a Singapore Airlines plane crashes and now the Germanwings Flight 9525 smashed into Alpine mountainside. The horror became bigger with the news that the co-pilot intentionally crashed the aircraft, killing all 150 people on board.
The latest accident of the Germanwings airbus now has raised many questions related to the safety of passengers inside a flight. This incident reminds me of the sticker pasted on the cockpit door of IndiGo Airlines that read, “Flying is a serious profession. Please do not carry your worries beyond this point.”
One of the major concerns after this crash is how to gauge the mental condition of a pilot as it is believed that the flight was slammed into Alpine mountains deliberately.
The number of accidents in the recent months suggests that it is not always technical errors or the weather conditions that doom the aircraft.
In Indian context, talking about profession of a pilot Go Air chief pilot, flight operations, Captain Mukesh Sharan says, “It was the insane behaviour of the pilot if he intentionally crashed the aircraft. A person who has lost hopes in life might try to kill only himself but killing others along with your own life is insanity.”
“In India psychometric test is done to judge the mental condition of a pilot. This test is structured to evaluate pilot’s attitude towards life and people around him. The test papers are preserved in the pilot’s file. I don’t believe that the people around the co-pilot did not have a clue about his behaviour and perception towards life,” he added.
One of the senior pilot of a leading commercial airlines in India says, “This is not a rampant problem. In India the system is in place to catch such things on time. A lot of precautions are taken in India during the induction of a pilot. In our country the pilot has to go through several levels of IQ tests and also medical tests are conducted in every six months. The whole process here is much more stringent than international standards. Check-ups are also conducted that can reveal the mental condition of a pilot.”
Talking about the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz of the aircraft that crashed He adds, “The mental health of a pilot should be monitored minutely. But we should not generalise this for the whole aviation industry as this can happen anywhere in any field.”
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