A review of hijack events by airline employees, with a particular reference to Pilot Suicide Using an Aircraft (PSUA): an analysis of the triggering factors and current mitigation

Nori, Hani (2020) A review of hijack events by airline employees, with a particular reference to Pilot Suicide Using an Aircraft (PSUA): an analysis of the triggering factors and current mitigation. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

When Andreas Lubitz crashed German wings flight 9525 killing all on board, the event refocused public attention on Pilot Suicide Using Aircraft accidents or (PSUA), the term used throughout this thesis.

The Lubitz event led to the introduction of procedures that called for an in-flight minimum of two crew members in the cockpit and pilots psychometric testing. However, the new measures were not flawless. A terrorist posing as a cabin crew could easily access the cockpit, and the still debated effectiveness of psychometric screening.

To prevent another PSUA, the research reviewed relevant events that lead into a potential or actual PSUA and the triggering factors behind it. The research also examines existing measures and related literature covering suicide, psychology, terrorism, aviation security and international organisations views. The available information was widely scattered and heavily cluttered. Hence, it was decided to compile an academically accredited and professionally filtered reference that lists relevant events, establish PSUA triggering factors, identify an effective mitigation and immediately bridge the current measures identified gaps.

The research findings, short and long term recommendations are backed up by the author's 30 years of aviation experience and are validated by recognised aviation experts. To address PSUA risk; the research suggests to temporarily maintain the "two in the flight deck" procedure, subject to reducing cabin crew risk by limiting in-flight cockpit access to the two senior cabin crews and immediately implementing the research gap bridging recommendations in term of crew specific procedures and training.

PSUA long term solution is achieved by addressing the personal factor, that could reduce the risk by 50% through the combination of the following measures: enhanced crew security background checks, enhanced psychometric screening by an aviation experienced company psychiatrist, awareness campaigns and effective crew support programs, along with job security campaigns, real just culture implementation and suicidal behaviour recognition training.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: airline security; aviation terrorism; Pilot Suicide Using an Aircraft (PSUA); aviation security; pilot psychometric testing
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
300 Social sciences > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2020 12:30
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2020 12:35
URI: https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/6132


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