Analysis of NTSB Aircraft-Assisted Pilot Suicides: 1982-2014

  • Politano P
  • Walton R
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Abstract

On March 24, 2015, a Germanwings aircraft crashed in the Alps. The suicidal copilot killed himself and 150 others. Pilot suicide is rare, but does happen. This research analyzed the National Transportation Safety Board's accident database (eADMS) looking for pilots who died by suicide in flight. Fifty-one suicides were identified. Gender, age, and other characteristics were examined. Average age of suicidal pilots was 38, significantly different from the average age of 45 for all male pilots involved in aircraft accidents. A discriminant function accurately identified suicidal incidents at 96%. There was a high false-positive rate limiting the usefulness of the discriminant function. © 2015 The American Association of Suicidology. Language: en

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Authors

  • P. Michael Politano

  • Robert O. Walton

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