SEPANG - Airlines should place emphasis on their flight crew's mental fitness to ensure level-headedness at all times.
Malaysian Pilots' Association vice-president Captain Ab Manan Mansor said with the excessive workload and erratic timing demanded by their jobs, psychological tests should be conducted more often on the crew, as they led antisocial lives.
His comments came in the wake of a possible psychological problem experienced by the crew aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which might have led to the deliberate air turnback of the plane.
"Most pilots and crew lead lonely lives.
"They often have pent-up problems and rarely get to meet friends and family.
"Mental checks are conducted during medical check-ups once or twice a year.
"This is not enough," said the veteran, who has 48 years' experience in the aviation industry.
Manan said depression among pilots was getting increasingly common, as they had little time to socialise.