5 Pilots who committed Suicide
If you think pilots with suicidal tendencies are non-existential then you must be wrong. The most recent report was in 2015 when a Germanwings pilot, Andreas Lubitz, crashed the aircraft 40 minutes after take off. Reports show Lubitz locked himself up in the aircraft’s cockpit and initiated a descent to crash into a mountain in Digne, France. This made the first fatal crash of the airline.
That was just one, in this article, we’ll be sharing to you stories about the 5 Pilots who committed Suicide. The purpose of this article is not to scare anyone in riding or for entertainment. All airlines and victims mentioned in this article are respected.
1. Chris Phatswe – Air Botswana
In 1999, a pilot stole one of the four-fleet aircraft of Air Botswana. He was circling the airport for 2 hours radioing the control tower that he intends to kill himself and crash the aircraft directly to the Air Botswana building. Few attempts were made to convince the pilot to land, passengers at the international airport panicked. Even the deputy commander of Botswana failed to convince him. He then demanded to speak with the vice president of Botswana but he ran out of fuel and crashed his aircraft to two other aircraft. All three aircraft were destroyed and only the pilot was the casualty.
2. Colin Richard Forman – Connellan Airways
In 1977, a pilot or a former employee of Connellan Airways flew a Beechcraft Baron and crashed it into the Connair complex of the airport killing himself and four other pilots while leaving four more with serious injuries. Known as Connair, the airline ceased operations in 1980 due to financial difficulties. On a positive note, there were only two aircraft suicide attacks recorded in the history of Australian aviation. The other one is in 1982 at Bankstown Airport, when a pilot stole a known damaged Douglas C-47 and committed suicide by crashing the aircraft nearby.
3. Charlie J. Bishop
The instructor of this 15-year old pilot trainee was left in a Cessna 172 in 2002. His instructor left him to do his usual task of preflight inspection. However, Charlie used the plane and took off without permission. United States Coast Guard and the MacDill Air Force Base were alerted by the air traffic controllers about the unscheduled flight of Charlie. He was warned several times but didn’t cooperate and ended up crashing in a 42-storey building at the side of Bank of America Tower located in Tampa, Florida. His action was believed to be inspired by the 9/11 attack. This incident damaged the office and killed the teenager alone.
4. Andrew Joseph Stack III
In 2010, a pilot riding his Piper Dakota deliberately crashed his aircraft to the Building I of the Echelon office complex in Austin, Texas, United States. He was killed alongside with the manager of Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Vernon Hunter, leaving 13 serious injuries to others. Investigation had found out that the perpetrator committed an actual murder-suicide. Evidences show that Stack even posted on his business site (embeddedart.com) about “Greed” and “Insanity” referring to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Stack had a long-running feud with the organization.
5. Aircraft “Chaimite” – LAM Mozambique Airlines
In 2013, a pilot was reported intentionally crashing the jet aircraft name “Chaimite” halfway between its departure and scheduled arrival airport. Investigation and reports show that the aircraft lost altitude abruptly and descended rapidly, air traffic control were able to trace it but lost track eventually. The following day the wreckage was found at the Bwabwata National Park in northern Namibia and listed 33 fatalities (27 passengers and 6 crews members). The aircraft had even undergone maintenance check a day before the crash.
Whatever had happened due to suicide always has a reason behind it, but still my respect and deepest condolences go to the families and friends of the passengers or victims of the incidents mentioned above. It is not right to cause more casualties if you are about to end yours.