Did you ever wonder when you got on an airliner whether or not the pilots were mentally stable? Probably not. However, there have been any number of airliner accidents over the years in which suicide was either clear or suspected. In some cases these accidents resulted in death to passengers on board. It should surprise no one that pilots are also subject to some of the same maladies that the general population is. A recent blog post by Rudy Pont on January 19, 2014 details the results of his research which revealed that there were 8 airliner accidents by suicide. This post was titled "ASN: List of aircraft accidents by pilot suicide" and what follows are some data from this post: 9-26-76: A Russian pilot stole an Antonov 2 airplane directed his aircraft into the block of flats in Novosibirsk where his divorced wife lived. 8-22-1979: An aircraft mechanic in Columbia stole a helicopter and crashed it into a residential area. 7-13-1994: A Russian Air Force engineer stole an aircraft at the Kubinka AFB to commit suicide. 8-21-1994: A Morroccan pilot crashed an ATR-42 killing 44 people. 12-19-1997: The captain may have committed suicide by switching off both flight recorders and intentionally putting the Boeing 737 in a dive crashing and killing 104 people. 10-11-1999: An Air Botswana captain who had been grounded for medical reasons took off in an ATR-42 and crashed it into two parked ATR-42 aircraft. 10-31-1999: Egypt Air Flight 990, a Boeing 767, entered a rapid descent some 30 minutes after departure from New York-JFK Airport killing 217 people. 11-29-2013: The captain made control inputs that directed the plane to the ground, shortly after the first officer had left the flight deck killing 33 people. On February 3, 2005 NPR produced a piece by Robert Siegel titled "'My Final Landing:' Suicide by Airplane" which you can listen to. So are airliner accidents by suicide a serious problem? I would not think so given the few airliner accidents by suicide that have been recorded over the last few decades. So go ahead, climb onto that airliner and put your cares and worries away - it is highly unlikely that you will suffer from any airliner accidents by suicide! In the meantime keep your wings straight and level Hersch! Please share "8 Airliner Accidents By Suicide" with your friends using the buttons below. Thanks! Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7+ ps: Don't forget to sign up for updates via email for "All Things Aviation" here!
by John M. White •