• Pilot-license applicants to take psychiatric tests


    After recently adopting a new cockpit policy, the country’s aviation regulator is becoming much stricter by proposing psychiatric tests for applicants for pilot’s license, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said on Wednesday.

    The plan will cover airline crew, aviation student and aircraft mechanics.

    According to CAAP Director General William K. Hotchkiss 3rd, the agency will soon meet with the Philippine Psychiatric Association on the administering of oral and written psychiatric tests to the applicants.

    The proposal stemmed from Air India also recently suspending two of its pilots after they engaged in a “minor argument” inside the cockpit.

    The incident happened inside an Airbus A320 flying from Jaipur in northwest India to New Delhi last April 6.

    In 2013, two other Air India pilots and two flight attendants were also suspended after local media reported that both pilots of a Bangkok-New Delhi flight left control of the plane in the hands of the two flight attendants so that they could take a nap.

    Hotchkiss said the proposed requirement for pilot-license applicants is consistent with a new cockpit protocol that had also been adopted by the CAAP.

    The protocol calls for presence of two persons inside the cockpit at all times, with a member of the flight crew being allowed to enter the cockpit if either pilot or co-pilot, for example, takes a lavatory break.

    It came up after investigation found that Germanwings Flight 9525 was deliberately crashed into the French Alps last March 24 by co-pilot Andrea Lubitz.

    Lubitz had locked out of the cockpit the pilot in command before programming the aircraft to descend until it was just 100 feet above the ground.


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