Researchers compiled data using documented toxicology reports of pilots who died in plane crashes between 1999 and 2012, which included data on more than 6,600 pilots. More than 40 percent of the pilots had drugs in their systems, which is an alarming increase from 10 percent in 1990. Toxicology reports were done on nearly 90 percent of the pilots who died.
Overall marijuana use among pilots increased to 3% from 1.6% in 1990. Typically younger pilots were more likely to use marijuana than older pilots.
The NTSB safety board indicates that it is alarmed by the increase in drug use and is calling on doctors and the Federal Aviation Administration to warn pilots about how performance may be affected by taking drugs of any kind, including over-the-counter medication. The findings of the full NTSB safety report will be available within the next few weeks.
Jeff Newman represents whistleblowers