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3 CHAPTER 1 Introduction and Background Introduction I am an analyst for the airline, and when I heard that one of our airplanes had crashed, I called my supervisor at the hub and Disaster recovery in the aviation industry can have a dra- asked what I could do. . . . In moments he called me back, told matic mental health impact upon the personnel involved in me to go get the `crash kit' and head out to the scene. The crash kit was on a pallet in a storage room and I had to bring it to the the incident, as well as a wide range of people who assist in the scene with a front loader, and it turned out to be filled with body investigation and recovery efforts after the incident. The pur- bags and toe tags. . . . I was not prepared for what I saw at the pose of this research project is to develop a resource manual scene and still think about it today. . . . to assist airport and air carrier organizations in the manage- ment of psychological trauma related to aircraft accidents, The limitation of this paper regards the ability to make terrorist acts, or natural disasters. This effort is also aimed at specific recommendations that apply to all situations, for further understanding and fostering human resiliency-- individuals and organizations alike. Treatment programs for the ability for a person to recover after a psychological set- individuals recovering from mental health trauma are best back and to resume their near normal level of performance. designed by the professionals providing their care. Likewise, Catastrophic and human-based accidents are infrequent specific mental health recovery plans need to be tailored to occurrences in the transportation industry, nonetheless it each organization, as a function of their size, resources, and is imperative that organizations and their employees are pre- type of trauma. There are many types of traumatic events than pared to handle the physical situation of a large-scale disaster, an aviation employee may encounter; those can be, but are not as well as the mental health considerations that may follow. limited to: disease, workplace violence, an aircraft incident/or This research project examines an aviation organizations' accident, an actual aircraft crash, terrorism, or a single ramp ability to promote human resiliency and to provide guidance event. For the purpose of their guidebook, a traumatic event for those organizations to develop procedures and prepare could mean any of the listed examples. for the impact of natural and man-made disasters they may one day face. The industry recognizes a variety of people who Background have experienced traumatic events, and this resource manual aims to educate organizations regarding the issues, findings, According to the FAA's 2008-2012 Flight Plan, "our skies and guidance and appropriate assistance within the organiza- are safe," the industry has achieved an incredibly low rate of tion or region. The goal of this research is to prepare direc- commercial (airline) fatal accidents. In the past ten years the tors of airports and air carriers for the mental health recovery accident rate has dropped 57 percent. The FAA has imple- of employees, who have faced a traumatic event, and to pro- mented many new and enhanced safety initiatives in the past mote and improve practices for employees' ability to success- years with the hope of achieving the lowest rate practical. fully cope with such an event and build resilience. The lack of training can have a significant effect on the health and well- Man-Made Disasters being of an individual, and may have legal implications for an employer, so careful planning and mitigation strategies need In 2007, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to be formulated for the longevity of any organization. The reported a reduced accident rate in commercial airline oper- following is a short excerpt from a field interview: ations (Part 121). There were 24 non-fatal accidents. One