Published on February 3rd, 2021 | by Mark Dwyer


Squawk 7000 – Mental Health in Pilots – We’re only Human too

In conversation with Capt.Paul Cullen Aviation Wellbeing Consultant / Human Factors Researcher.

Captain Paul Cullen is a researcher with the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, and the founder of the Lived Experience Wellbeing Project. Paul is an IFALPA accredited accident investigator and has logged over 13,000 hours flying the A320/1, A330 and B737. Paul previously held the role of Director of Safety & Technical with the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association and is currently Secretary of the Human Factors (Wellbeing) Group at the Royal Aeronautical Society. Paul has collaborated with a range of industry stakeholders such as the Flight Safety Foundation, EASA and the International Labour Organisation.

Paul is particularly interested in understanding how sources of Work-Related Stress affect the physical, mental and social wellbeing of safety-critical workers in aviation, and how this impacts flight safety. In particular, Paul wants to understand why some workers are susceptible to psychological distress yet others remain resilient while working in a similar environment, and to determine how resilience training might best be incorporated into aviation.

Paul is a staunch advocate for the acceptance of mental health within aviation, seeing it as something to be embraced rather than feared.

Link to the Wellbeing for Pilots Book – mentioned in the Podcast https://www.tcd.ie/cihs/assets/pdf/wellbeinguide.pdf

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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