EasyJet recently “stood down” a pilot from flying pending an investigation into the pilot’s mental health. Concerns arose when the pilot posted about self-harm and other disturbing topics on social media. The incident, experts said, highlights the sensitivity around mental health and fitness for duty, whether on a commercial airline or business jet.
Clayton T. Cowl, MD, MS and chair of Mayo Clinic’s Division of Preventive, Occupational & Aerospace Medicine, encouraged flight departments to take a proactive approach to fitness for duty.
“Pilots, and others in safety-sensitive positions, must have the trust of someone in the organization they can talk to if they have a problem or suspect a colleague has a problem,” said Cowl. “Ideally, flight departments will develop a trust relationship with a medical team or an individual flight physician with whom they can share potential fitness-for-duty issues.” READ MORE (NBAA)