Ah yes, another great headline for aviation:
Hundreds of U.S. Pilots Treated for Drug Abuse and Psychiatric Disorders, Review FindsNews out of the Boston Herald Thursday last by Jessica Heslam leads off her story with the following paragraph: "Hundreds of commercial and private U.S. pilots have been diagnosed and treated for a broad array of serious psychiatric and medical conditions, including schizophrenia, attempted suicide, sexual deviance, alcoholism and drug abuse, a Herald review has found." No doubt what all of us thought was the swagger of a competent pilot may turn out - in reality - to be the stumbling of a drunken captain. So, what to do? What to do?
Here are some suggestionsAs you board your flight the captain is usually standing near the cockpit door, his gold metal aviator sunglasses dangling from his neck. Just lean over coyly to the pilot as if to ask a question, but really to smell his breath. Once you take your seat, watch and see if a stewardess rushes to the cockpit, hot steaming black coffee pot in hand - beware of the hung-over pilot! Perhaps he spent the night carousing with that gorgeous, tall, slender stew with the short blond hair and blazing blue eyes in the 1st class cabin. No, probably it was that short, dark haired beauty in the main cabin with her long black hair draped over her shoulders and those deep brown eyes.
So Many Pilots, So Few AirplanesWhat are we to do? The review revealed these staggering statistics:
- 2,700 pilots have been treated for alcohol abuse;
- 1,253 pilots have been diagnosed as alcoholics;
- 1,377 pilots have been treated for drug abuse;
- 87 pilots were treated or diagnosed with sexual deviation in the form of pedophilia, voyeurism and fetishism;
- 80 pilots have been treated for bipolar disorder or paranoia;
- 23 pilots have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder;
- 15 pilots have been treated for schizophrenia.