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      03-07-2019, 02:58 PM   #1
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Commercial Pilots and Depression

Sort of a spin off from the plane thread, but following up on an interesting comment made by Dodger:

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Originally Posted by Real Dodger View Post
But they weren't there was no evidence of mental illness with those guys? The German wings pilot should've been red flagged. And my cousin's husband (who is a commercial pilot, not just General aviation like me) pointed this out the other day.
https://www.foxnews.com/travel/delta...eep-flying.amp

I hope nobody like that is piloting my flight across the Atlantic in June!
So we have a Delta pilot, this Adam Asleson or however you spell it, who was red flagged for depression (which is good - I'm glad Delta caught this before anything potentially happened) and then there are the others mentioned in this link:
https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndca/pr...lse-statements

With the advancements in securing the cockpit against hijacking, you are sort of at the mercy of your pilot.

But it leaves you wondering - depression is a very real thing, and it can make one do really terrible things that you wouldn't otherwise do. And I'm certain it affects a lot more commercial pilots than just the above.

I've heard dentists are more prone to depression than other specialties (not certain why, but just what I heard) - do you think commercial pilots are more prone to depression than normal?

I mean you are probably constantly changing time zones and screwing up your internal clock. You likely spend a fair bit of time away from family. And you probably never really feel rooted in one place, always jumping from hotel to hotel, and then maybe at your house for a week off or something, and then back. All those seem to maybe indicate they might get more easily depressed.

I think we have a few commercial pilots on here, at least that's what I've gathered. Be interesting to hear some thoughts. And if depressed, seem fair that your job is immediately gone? In general, I sort of think so, even though it sounds draconian...a lot of other lives are riding on you.
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      03-07-2019, 03:04 PM   #2
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You might have misunderstood about dentists, you know, getting down in the mouth.
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      03-07-2019, 03:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000cs View Post
You might have misunderstood about dentists, you know, getting down in the mouth.
Had not heard that before...not bad.
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      03-07-2019, 03:26 PM   #4
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But seriously, depression isn’t anything to trifle with and I can see how it could be a problem for pilots (especially on long hauls). Fortunately most people who suffer from depression don’t want to take anyone along with them. But I sure hope that help is readily available for the pilots who need it.
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      03-07-2019, 03:32 PM   #5
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Hopefully those pilots don't live in Portland or in Washington State.
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      03-07-2019, 04:38 PM   #6
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The hardest part for pilots is admitting you have a problem because once you do your medical is invalid and youíre unfit to fly. Another issue for seeking help is that most pilots are type A personalities and are very goal oriented and think they can solve the problems themselves without seeking help when itís definitely needed.

The FAA does allow you to fly while taking some depression medications but there is quite a bit of work required between your regular doctor and your FAA doctor to be able to hold a valid medical certificate.

Iím grateful that the airline I work for offers many great programs that offer the help we need when dealing with lifeís problems.
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