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AIRLINES PILOT’S STRESS MANAGEMENT by Wg Cdr N M Rai

Updated: Jul 28


Becoming a Professional Airline Pilot is a coveted and prestigious position. But

this involves overcoming great Psychological challenges on a daily basis. Great

responsibility for the safety of many passengers. operating an Aircraft overnight,

flying in bad weather or in a high-density traffic area, temporarily getting off

course, equipment malfunction, conflict with other crew members or air traffic

control -these are amongst the most common reasons why Pilots have to cope with exceptionally high stress levels in their work place.


D.P.Davis in his book “Handling the Big Jets” says that “the job of flying Jet

Transport” needs to be approached with a proper mixture of determination,

prudence and confidence. In case of a Pilot, he or she experiences both acute and

chronic stresses. Stressful situations can also be both expected and unexpected, and the Pilot is often under tremendous pressure to deal with these sources of stress instantly.


Clinically stress is defined as “the sum of biological reactions to any adverse

stimulus. Physical, mental, emotional, internal or external factors that tend to

disturb the body’s natural balance”. Pilots do not have standard working hours, they have to sit on their butts for long stretch themselves in the cockpit environment. It is observed that the Pilots generally maintain good health but generally suffer from one of the following health problems.


Acidity and ulcers, back pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, migraines and

tension headaches, depression insomnia, neck pain, cervical spondylosis, frozen

shoulder & tennis elbow etc.

Yogic approach for Complete Health:

For those who are suffering from mental fatigue, tiredness, anxiety and stress, Yoga is a means to find relaxation.

Success of any yoga program will greatly depend upon the ability of the yoga teacher to understand the above issues faced by the and Pilots and designing suitable program encompassing a mix of Asanas, SuryaNamaskar, Pranayama, Trataka and Yoga Nidra etc.

If one is concerned, Pilot can do Pranayama in the long-haul flights in the aircraft, do asanas & yoga nidra as and when they get time at the hotels or at home. Attend yoga spa in the International airports etc.

Article By:

Wg Cdr NM RAI, a yoga practitioner and a Yoga Instructor from the YOGA

WELLNESS CENTER. Having more than 40 yrs of Aviation Experience as a

Flight Engineer and Ground Engineer.

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