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Easyjet FO anxiety attack

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Easyjet FO anxiety attack

Old 14th Sep 2019, 09:55
  #41 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
 
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Originally Posted by FLCH View Post
Are new applicants given a psychological test prior to employment as someone asked earlier, it could have sent up a potential red flag.

Or is it against the law to make distinctions as to whether someone is psychologically fit or not ?
The Class One medical includes an assessment of your mental state both on initial issue or thereafter.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 10:20
  #42 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by beardy View Post
Cobblers.

Panic attacks are a form of mental illness that may be triggered by life events. They are not necessarily inherent and could affect anybody.
It's time you and your cohort wised up to mental health.
​​​​​Reverserbucket post at 1650 yesterday concerning Matthew Guest v. Flybe Limited at an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal describes in detail the emotional issues which can occur. Definitely worth a read for those interested in mental health flying issues. Allow yourself two hours.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 10:49
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by cattletruck View Post
I've always been a believer in giving people a second chance, but in my own opinion this is not the time and place. He should have been weeded out earlier (or at least played cards then). Most non-LLC passengers wouldn't expect anything less, but I guess it's just simply another case of you get what you pay for.
You mean pilots with probably top 4-5 T&Cs in Europe? easyJet has FOs taking home €6000 / month on the “European” contracts.

CP

Last edited by CaptainProp; 14th Sep 2019 at 17:36.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 14:48
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Sympathy

Huge sympathy to the FO. Been here myself but with the right treatment they will recover and come out the other side. We don’t know the full facts but anxiety is a manifestation of depression, which anyone can suffer, and recover from. Most unlikely that being low houred had anything to do with it, could happen to someone with 10,000 hours if they are ill.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 15:19
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by autothrottle View Post
Huge sympathy to the FO. Been here myself but with the right treatment they will recover and come out the other side. We don’t know the full facts but anxiety is a manifestation of depression, which anyone can suffer, and recover from. Most unlikely that being low houred had anything to do with it, could happen to someone with 10,000 hours if they are ill.
Very true, but the point is : should it be treated the same way if that happens to a middle aged seasoned aviator that has definitely very few options to change his careers path and a young barely qualified pilot (let alone those in flight schools) that can still turn his life upside down as many times as he likes ? Is it a good decision to be treated for anxiety disorders at the very beginning of a pilot career ? Is it better to leave a life out of the flight deck with no medications or in the flight deck on prescription pills and psychological support for several decades till retirement ?
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 16:48
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Age has got nothing to do with it.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 09:28
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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The selection programs that others have referred to aimed, in part, to weed out those candidates who "appeared" to show a higher tendency to stress. Might be "cobblers" to you "Beardy" but the results were pretty good. Hamble had a 500 questionnaire followed by interview with a fully qualified Psychologist. Many thought one test was a co-ordination exerrcise. It wasn't. It looked hard at how candidates might re-act once placed in a high stress situation. Might be "cobblers" to you "Beardy" but I know who I'd rather be sitting behind ; someone who passed formal selection or someone who falls apart at selection questions, like, "What is a half divided by a half" when asked in a stress environment. Amazing how many go red in the face and bleat out " A quarter!".
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 09:39
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Landflap View Post
The selection programs that others have referred to aimed, in part, to weed out those candidates who "appeared" to show a higher tendency to stress. Might be "cobblers" to you "Beardy" but the results were pretty good. Hamble had a 500 questionnaire followed by interview with a fully qualified Psychologist. Many thought one test was a co-ordination exerrcise. It wasn't. It looked hard at how candidates might re-act once placed in a high stress situation. Might be "cobblers" to you "Beardy" but I know who I'd rather be sitting behind ; someone who passed formal selection or someone who falls apart at selection questions, like, "What is a half divided by a half" when asked in a stress environment. Amazing how many go red in the face and bleat out " A quarter!".
The archaic belief that future mental health problems and weaknesses can be predicted by the selection processes you advocate has fortunately been consigned to the dustbin of historical bad ideas.

Stress is not the same as this young man's mental health problems.

Last week in Hereford a former hooligan committed suicide. His selection, discipline and training were of little use.
I hope you never have to have recourse to the few resources there are for mental health issues.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 10:04
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Beardy, there was never an attempt to predict future mental health problems. Those who displayed problems while under stress were weeded out because airline pilots are supposed to be able to handle highly stressful events calmly and efficiently. The young man referred to appears to have had an "event" when placed in a stressful situation. Stress is often the trigger and those who cope well under stress are unlikely to have a triggered event. Hardly archaic beliefs going on here.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 10:20
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Messing up an approach so the captain takes over is one thing, getting locked out of the cockpit for the remaining flight is something else. With all respect to stress and mental issues I think we don't have the full picture. If it was just some limited personal high stress situation -like family trouble, broken love or similar- I hope he can return. If not I'm more strict since that certain german FO back then. Who had been permitted to return.

All the other medical limits for pilots are super strict like eyesight and such. Many good pilots are blocked from a career because of very minor imperfections. However mental health issues suddenly get that extra bonus for softer limits. Why is that?

Last edited by Less Hair; 15th Sep 2019 at 10:31.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 10:33
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Landflap View Post
The selection programs that others have referred to aimed, in part, to weed out those candidates who "appeared" to show a higher tendency to stress. Might be "cobblers" to you "Beardy" but the results were pretty good. Hamble had a 500 questionnaire followed by interview with a fully qualified Psychologist. Many thought one test was a co-ordination exerrcise. It wasn't. It looked hard at how candidates might re-act once placed in a high stress situation. Might be "cobblers" to you "Beardy" but I know who I'd rather be sitting behind ; someone who passed formal selection or someone who falls apart at selection questions, like, "What is a half divided by a half" when asked in a stress environment. Amazing how many go red in the face and bleat out " A quarter!".
Is that really a selection question with no other context? If it is, then some question setters really are a little bit up themselves unless the purpose of asking it is to remind that clarity is needed in loose verbal or written communication in order to avoid communication errors initiated by those asking the questions. As it stands it is a trick question with no defined context or parameters and thus no definable purpose. If the question was set as what is ˝/˝ or 0.5/0.5 it would have true mathematically defined context. Otherwise it simply identifies a senseless miscommunication opportunity between the person asking the question and the person answering it. Would you fail a selection candidate who would of passed {sic} with better practice at stupid questions, in favour of one who would have never seen such a question before but happened to see the trap?

I will freely admit that from my totally unstressed chair this morning I did not see the "trap". I think that might be because my brain was long ago trained to be able to answer much more rigorously set mathematical problems. But I have today learned a little bit about potential miscommunication in a cockpit if this is how aviators question each other in 2019 and expect to weed out weakness in others by waiting for mistakes to arise out of sloppiness in their own written or spoken words.

Again if it is a real selection question, at best one would hope the selectors might be looking for an instant retort as a safety check such as "do you mean half of a half or do you mean point 5 divided by point 5?", but in practice what are they really going to get from a control group of even the most unstressed expert mathematicians or engineers?
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 10:44
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Messing up an approach so the captain takes over is one thing, getting locked out of the cockpit for the remaining flight is something else. With all respect to stress and mental issues I think we don't have the full picture. If it was just some limited personal high stress situation -like family trouble, broken love or similar- I hope he can return. If not I'm more strict since that certain german FO back then. Who had been permitted to return.

All the other medical limits for pilots are super strict like eyesight and such. Many good pilots are blocked from a career because of very minor imperfections. However mental health issues suddenly get that extra bonus for softer limits. Why is that?

Agreed. We do not have the full picture. Therefore judgements are not in order. Investigation and possible retraining of the FO are required. Retraining does not automatically mean a return to the flight deck.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 10:55
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Fine if he is a trapeze artiste or a tight rope walker but I wouldn't want this character flying my family or any other , I do sympathise and wish him well in some other career.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 10:55
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Stress can be very insidious. I know from personal experience that one can be extremely stressed by events without feeling stressed or showing any outward signs of it. Then an event occurs that, on top of everything else, causes the individual to run out of “stress capacity” and their performance suddenly drops dramatically. They are not mentally ill, just overloaded.

It seems odd for a modern trainee pilot to be stressed by current airline flying or training to the extent that they leave the cockpit during landing (!), so maybe a career change is required. Having said that, who knows what other events were happening in their life? Possibly relocation, maybe first time living away from home, first time finding somewhere to live, difficult training course or nowhere quiet to study, not able to sleep fully, applying for airside security passes etc, etc, can be a heavy stress load.
.

Last edited by Uplinker; 15th Sep 2019 at 11:10.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 11:32
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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There are some commentators here who seem to be that this young person's problem was an inability to make correct decisions whilst stressed. And that behaviour can be predicted.

It seems to me that the problem was a breakdown of behaviour, not of decision making. That points to a mental health problem. I posit that this is not predictable and is not looked for in any current nor in any past selection process.

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Old 15th Sep 2019, 11:37
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by beardy View Post
There are some commentators here who seem to be that this young person's problem was an inability to make correct decisions whilst stressed. And that behaviour can be predicted.

It seems to me that the problem was a breakdown of behaviour, not of decision making. That points to a mental health problem. I posit that this is not predictable and is not looked for in any current nor in any past selection process.

Exactly. I think calm behaviour under stress is being confused with mental illness by some of the above.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 14:56
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry for him, but he should have his licence suspended immediately. What if he gets in a 'tizz' with an real emergency plus a landing on limits?
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 19:37
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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There are some safety-critical industries which recruit heavily from those with military and/or emergency services backgrounds. Whilst I'm aware that there are people from these backgrounds who could have developed various psychological conditions related to trauma, I'd be surprised if more than a few applied for a safety-critical role and if selected, passed the medical.

If the airlines recruited forty-somethings with a couple of decades of non-flying military experience or emergency services experience, would it be less likely for an airline to find itself in this sort of position? Any airline recruiting such people would probably need to fund training, it's expensive enough without a family to feed.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 21:38
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by slip and turn View Post
Would you fail a selection candidate who would of passed {sic} with better practice at stupid questions, in favour of one who would have never seen such a question before but happened to see the trap?
Thanks s&t - gets me going as well. I get so bored of these things!

As has been suggested, there is a difference to be recognised between a possible inability to function well under stress and mental impairment or illness. I think it important to determine which applies here but we have nothing like sufficient knowledge to enable an informed judgement.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 13:20
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Mental impairment vs capacity under stress is not discussed in the AAIB report of course, but the facts remain that the F/O stated that he was "afraid" that he might touch down on the runway edge while floating in the flare, and that his impression of the go-around being a "frightening and serious event" were reinforced - in fact, there are several references to the co-pilot feeling frightened in his stated comments, which to my mind, is not a function of dwindling capacity leading to the anxiety attack but rather some underlying issue. These were not extraordinary events but normal procedures that he should have been exposed to many times in basic and type-training. He left the cockpit during a critical phase of flight - this is the serious issue in my view and I find it hard to imagine a scenario beyond physical incapacitation where this could be deemed professionally acceptable.

Last edited by Reverserbucket; 16th Sep 2019 at 13:40.
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