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

When a Germanwings aircraft crashed in the Alps on March 24, 2015, it was the result of a suicidal copilot, killing all 151 passengers on board. While pilot suicide is rare, it does happen, as evidenced by the research analysis presented here. The National Transportation Safety Board's accident database (eADMS) was utlized, looking for pilots who died by suicide in flight. There was an examination of the gender, age, and other characteristics of the 51 suicides that were identified. While the average age for all male pilots involved in aircraft accidents was 45, the average age of suicidal pilots was 38, a significant difference. Suicidal incidents were accurately identified at 96% by a discriminant function. The usefulness of the discriminant function was limited by a high false-positive rate.


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  • Accession Number: 01606997
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 17 2016 1:35PM