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View Full Version : Suicides


Varks
01-14-2019, 06:30 AM
We are rapidly approaching the spring time when we seem to have an uptick in Pilots taking their own lives. Last spring we had 7 in a 90 day period (stated in human factors class). I know this forum may not be the place to air our troubles but how else will people know. Someone brought the subject up on another thread. APA and the AA are Trying but it isnít helping enough. No one will give exact numbers but I know it is way more than people realize. We peaked at 32 (heard that number from someone who had a close friend take their own life) in one year when the morale was at its lowest around ten years ago. Awareness is the only way people will know or be on the look out for signs. I apologize if anyone is offended by me bringing this up. Something has to be done. Get help please. Call the wingman.


2StgTurbine
01-14-2019, 10:16 AM
Any ideas why it peaks in the spring?

OVBIII
01-14-2019, 10:46 AM
This is a decent article on why there is an uptick in spring months.

Please keep your eyes and ears out. Always help where you can, and if you (myself included) need help donít be afraid to ask. We are human and we need help sometimes. There is nothing wrong about asking for help.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/grand-rounds/201505/april-and-may-and-probably-june-is-the-cruelest-month%3famp


SD3FR8DOG
01-14-2019, 02:54 PM
We are rapidly approaching the spring time when we seem to have an uptick in Pilots taking their own lives. Last spring we had 7 in a 90 day period (stated in human factors class). I know this forum may not be the place to air our troubles but how else will people know. Someone brought the subject up on another thread. APA and the AA are Trying but it isnít helping enough. No one will give exact numbers but I know it is way more than people realize. We peaked at 32 (heard that number from someone who had a close friend take their own life) in one year when the morale was at its lowest around ten years ago. Awareness is the only way people will know or be on the look out for signs. I apologize if anyone is offended by me bringing this up. Something has to be done. Get help please. Call the wingman.

What if there isnít a wingman? Thatís the downside of this job, quite often when new to a company and geographical area with very little safety net it can be very isolating.

Al Czervik
01-14-2019, 03:18 PM
Nobody likes to talk about this but...

Any DL/UAL/AS/SWA/FDX/UPS/Spirit/Allegiant/Frontier guys want to chime in?

I’m wondering if our numbers are drastically different from others or this is just a nasty part of the industry?

Vital Signs
01-14-2019, 04:25 PM
I have no doubt that the FAA shows almost no tolerance for almost everything would be a factor in this as well. If someone wants to search out help there is a huge repercussion possibility stopping them, loss of medical.

KiloAlpha
01-14-2019, 04:30 PM
I have no doubt that the FAA shows almost no tolerance for almost everything would be a factor in this as well. If someone wants to search out help there is a huge repercussion possibility stopping them, loss of medical.

APA has a special group of people that help with just this issue. It is confidential and not reported to the FAA. For those not at AA, it is called Project Wingman. It is available to union members and their families.

Vital Signs
01-14-2019, 04:34 PM
APA has a special group of people that help with just this issue. It is confidential and not reported to the FAA. For those not at AA, it is called Project Wingman. It is available to union members and their families.


Thats great AA has a program for this type of issue.
I am corporate so was unaware.

AJ Crowley
01-14-2019, 05:12 PM
APA has a special group of people that help with just this issue. It is confidential and not reported to the FAA. For those not at AA, it is called Project Wingman. It is available to union members and their families.

ALPA also has a program called Pilot Peer Support. There is a 800 number answered by a live person 24/7/365 that will connect the pilot to a trained peer with the resources to help. It's also confidential and not reported to the FAA.

AJ Crowley
01-14-2019, 05:14 PM
Nobody likes to talk about this but...

Any DL/UAL/AS/SWA/FDX/UPS/Spirit/Allegiant/Frontier guys want to chime in?

Iím wondering if our numbers are drastically different from others or this is just a nasty part of the industry?

Numbers are similar in the industry as a whole. Mental health issues in our industry are identical to the general public. Mental illness affects 1 in 4, and pilots are not immune.

crash312
01-14-2019, 07:06 PM
Nobody likes to talk about this but...

Any DL/UAL/AS/SWA/FDX/UPS/Spirit/Allegiant/Frontier guys want to chime in?

Iím wondering if our numbers are drastically different from others or this is just a nasty part of the industry?




B6 has enough that it has recently been gaining a lot of attention from both the Union and the CPs. We have a newly formed committee to deal with the precursors. I am not sure of exact numbers but enough to question if we are an outlier (not in a good way). From the sounds of it, maybe the industry is an outlier. I haven't known anybody personally but everyone that does says it is the last thing they thought that person would do. Scary stuff.



Conversations are starting to be had about whether fumes (airbus) are contributing.

Dolphinflyer
01-16-2019, 12:09 PM
[QUOTE=Varks;2742560]We are rapidly approaching the spring time when we seem to have an uptick in Pilots taking their own lives. Last spring we had 7 in a 90 day period (stated in human factors class). I know this forum may not be the place to air our troubles but how else will people know. QUOTE]

Appreciate your concern and agree more need to be aware, but we already have a private discussion forum with APA and other union methods to help those in need.

A public internet forum isn't the place IMHO.

OVBIII
01-16-2019, 01:12 PM
[QUOTE=Varks;2742560]We are rapidly approaching the spring time when we seem to have an uptick in Pilots taking their own lives. Last spring we had 7 in a 90 day period (stated in human factors class). I know this forum may not be the place to air our troubles but how else will people know. QUOTE]



Appreciate your concern and agree more need to be aware, but we already have a private discussion forum with APA and other union methods to help those in need.

A public internet forum isn't the place IMHO.

I disagree, by not speaking frankly and openly others who read private forums may not truly understand that getting help isnít a taboo subject. (I truly respect your opinion and am not trying to down trod)

sumwherelse
01-16-2019, 01:46 PM
I think this is a great place to talk about this because we have a public health crisis in this country when it comes to mental health. People are afraid to talk about it because of the stigma associated with it and the societal repercussions are tremendous. Additionally the no tolerance policy that the FAA employs is a major contributor to the problems within our profession. If someone is dealing with mental health issues and is a pilot the fear of losing a medical and a career can be all consuming and leave the individual feeling like they have no place to turn and that is a horrible place to be.

There are solutions to this crisis and they start by treating those among us with mental health issues just like we would those who may have cancer. Get them the help they need without fear of losing their career.

TimetoClimb
01-16-2019, 07:35 PM
Any ideas why it peaks in the spring?

Because daylight savings time goes into effect and we lose an hour.

seriously.

cactusmike
01-16-2019, 08:33 PM
B6 has enough that it has recently been gaining a lot of attention from both the Union and the CPs. We have a newly formed committee to deal with the precursors. I am not sure of exact numbers but enough to question if we are an outlier (not in a good way). From the sounds of it, maybe the industry is an outlier. I haven't known anybody personally but everyone that does says it is the last thing they thought that person would do. Scary stuff.



Conversations are starting to be had about whether fumes (airbus) are contributing.


I was shocked when I attended my first AQP in Dallas after the merger and heard about this issue. We never had this as in issue in PHX, but within this larger pilot group it has been an issue and has received more attention.

The project Wingman presentation in human factors is sobering. Suicides here range from senior check airmen to relative new pilots. From what I have heard there is little warning of someone taking their life, unlike alcoholism. We need to become attuned to other people and make it clear that help is available. Suicide is a permanent solution to what may be a temporary problem.

I am glad to hear that B6 is taking action. You are a good group and I wish the best for you. I have always enjoyed riding on JetBlue.

Slowmover
01-17-2019, 06:42 AM
there is little warning of someone taking their life, unlike alcoholism. We need to become attuned to other people and make it clear that help is available.

Right on. We dealt with these concerns a lot in the military. In some ways, it was easier to combat there because we tended to know the folks we were working with more closely. There was a built-in support structure.

The nature of the airline business makes it easier for at-risk people to hide. Pilots are generally proud, outwardly-tough people who don't like to show emotion. Also, we rarely form deep bonds with the folks we fly with. Relationships are more transactional.

Project Wingman is a great concept. But it starts with us. Every time I fly with a guy, I try to get to know him/her a little. I try to listen more than I talk, and I try not to judge. If I ever come across anybody that I am concerned about, I will do something about it. I hope others will do the same for me.

KC135
01-17-2019, 12:21 PM
Appreciate your concern and agree more need to be aware, but we already have a private discussion forum with APA and other union methods to help those in need.

A public internet forum isn't the place IMHO.

A private forum is great for those specifically in need but we shouldn't be discouraging people from a general discussion of the topic here. Most of us reading this thread had no idea this issue even existed to such a large degree until now. I'd glad this thread was started for awareness.

Vma214
01-20-2019, 01:11 AM
A private forum is great for those specifically in need but we shouldn't be discouraging people from a general discussion of the topic here. Most of us reading this thread had no idea this issue even existed to such a large degree until now. I'd glad this thread was started for awareness.

A lot of you all poo poo CnR, but if you would peruse that site once in a while, you can get a lot of this info there...to include all the info about the ďNo FloatĒ campaign. I know many of you think it is a cesspool, and there are certainly some threads that are just that. But there is also a LOT of good info to be gleaned from that forum.

pangolin
01-20-2019, 01:29 AM
Bringing attention to the resources available in a public forum is a great idea.

[QUOTE=Varks;2742560]We are rapidly approaching the spring time when we seem to have an uptick in Pilots taking their own lives. Last spring we had 7 in a 90 day period (stated in human factors class). I know this forum may not be the place to air our troubles but how else will people know. QUOTE]

Appreciate your concern and agree more need to be aware, but we already have a private discussion forum with APA and other union methods to help those in need.

A public internet forum isn't the place IMHO.

AJ Crowley
01-20-2019, 11:38 AM
Additionally the no tolerance policy that the FAA employs is a major contributor to the problems within our profession.

This simply isn't true. The FAA does not have a zero tolerance policy on mental health. There are a number of diagnosable disorders, and meds you can receive a special issuance first class medical. There will be a waiting period, but there is a high likelihood you will fly again. I recommend pilots contact AMAS. They are very knowledgeable on this subject.

Name User
01-20-2019, 01:11 PM
I can see this on DMN. "AA pilots reportedly have seven suicides in 90 days - when will the next Germanwings happen here?". Keep this out of the public view for Christ's sake, they worry enough as it is.

AirBear
01-21-2019, 09:34 AM
AA has ~ 15,000 pilots. 7 suicides = .0005%, i.e. 1/20 of one percent. Still tragic thou but not that far off the suicide rate for the general public (13 per 100,000). You'd have to look at the pilot suicides over a longer period, I'd bet it's less than the general public.

When USAirways Pilots lost their pensions some guys saw over a million bucks vaporize. There were a number of suicides. The CEO had 2 Israeli bodyguards with him anytime out in public.

lowcountryflyer
01-21-2019, 10:06 AM
I wonder how many of these suicides are military service related?

dynap09
01-21-2019, 10:11 AM
....to include all the info about the “No Float” campaign. I know many of you think it is a cesspool, and there are certainly some threads that are just that. But there is also a LOT of good info to be gleaned from that forum.

Sometimes folks don't want to have to deal with no float militants etc, especially if they have mental health issues / stress in their lives.

Believe it or not some of the union fighters trying to "out" anyone who crosses any perceived lines - not exactly the place to go hang out if you have a mental health or other stress! Did you fail to wear you lanyard? Did cross the no float line? You are a "traitor"! You are a scab, you are a management tool, you **** management ***.

Does that sound like the place to go if you are struggling? The very fact you are bringing up the no float campaign?...

adam28
01-21-2019, 11:28 AM
AA has ~ 15,000 pilots. 7 suicides = .0005%, i.e. 1/20 of one percent. Still tragic thou but not that far off the suicide rate for the general public (13 per 100,000). You'd have to look at the pilot suicides over a longer period, I'd bet it's less than the general public.

When USAirways Pilots lost their pensions some guys saw over a million bucks vaporize. There were a number of suicides. The CEO had 2 Israeli bodyguards with him anytime out in public.

Well 7 out of 15,000 equals about 47 per 100,000, which makes it much higher than the average for the US.

IHateYou
01-21-2019, 11:37 AM
Suicide is awful. I've had a very close family member do it and several other people I knew really well do it. It sends ripples well beyond what you may think if you've never known anyone close who's done it. The people I knew that have done it had either money or relationship problems...or both.

Name User
01-22-2019, 07:22 AM
AA has ~ 15,000 pilots. 7 suicides = .0005%, i.e. 1/20 of one percent. Still tragic thou but not that far off the suicide rate for the general public (13 per 100,000). You'd have to look at the pilot suicides over a longer period, I'd bet it's less than the general public.

When USAirways Pilots lost their pensions some guys saw over a million bucks vaporize. There were a number of suicides. The CEO had 2 Israeli bodyguards with him anytime out in public.

It was seven in 90 days, not a year. So multiply your numbers by four.

But really meaningless without context, ie what are the other airlines at? Yet you don't see them discussing this stuff on a public forum for good reason. It's like the APA and it's members want the company to go out of business sometimes.

Dolphinflyer
01-22-2019, 11:03 AM
To those of you that think that this forum is such a great place for this discussion, why haven't any of you brought up the subject on C&R?

RhinoBallAuto
01-22-2019, 04:47 PM
To those of you that think that this forum is such a great place for this discussion, why haven't any of you brought up the subject on C&R?

This may be legitimately the only time I ever consider investing in popcorn stock

Route66
01-23-2019, 05:41 AM
To those of you that think that this forum is such a great place for this discussion, why haven't any of you brought up the subject on C&R?

Because nonmembers are children of a lessor god and union membership conveys TITLE.

B757200ER
01-29-2019, 07:37 AM
I agree with those who suggest this should be kept in-house; C&R isn't perfect, but may reach more of the intended audience.



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