I’m sure many of you have already heard the news of Alaska Air (Horizon Air) flight 2059 and its safe outcome. I first want to commend a job well done by the crew and everyone involved for avoiding what could have been a disaster.
Let’s address something that, I’m speculating, is the underlying issue behind this incident: mental health.
Only recently, this topic has gained traction within the industry, but it has been something imbedded in aviation since the first humans achieved flight. It has largely been dismissed or ignored by the pilot community, mostly due to the medical, and eventual career, implications that it presents. Last week, I attended a seminar at NBAA that discussed mental health in aviation, and I’m pleased that we are finally openly discussing the topic. However, we must work harder to get the full support of industry leaders and the FAA to find a workable solution for pilots. Many people need a solution to cope with and treat mental heath issues and pilots are no different. I fully believe that there is a way to support the issue of mental health before these folks are driven to the point of an Alaska 2059, or a Germanwings 9525 or a Fedex 705.
Let’s discuss this issue so that we may collect data and input so as to find a solution.
Let’s support those in aviation dealing with mental health problems.
Let’s make mental health something we talk about in every preflight.
Let’s spread awareness to better identify, understand and defuse situations like these.