A person may use an aircraft to commit suicide. The pilot may leave a suicide note or otherwise communicate with others, but sometimes it may seem to be just another accident.


The person may intentional crash the plane or else may jump out during a flight.


Risk factors:

(1) male gender

(2) depression

(3) alcohol or drug intoxication (which may be self-medication for depression)

(4) history of suicidal ideation or attempts

(5) government policy or ideology – kamikaze, 9/11

(6) domestic, social or legal problems

(7) narcissistic personality


A psychological “autopsy” (Jones, 1977) of the pilot should be included in the investigation of an unexplained aircraft crash.


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