We studied the mortality experience of all pilots who died in the province of British Columbia between 1950 and 1984, using proportional mortality ratios (PMR) and proportional cancer mortality ratios (PCMR). There were 341 deaths during that time in males whose usual occupation was listed as pilot. The PMR for aircraft accidents was significantly elevated (PMR = 3196, 95% C.I. 2810, 3634), and the PMR for atherosclerotic heart disease was significantly depressed (PMR = 47, 95% C.I. 30, 70). Although based on small numbers of deaths, and not statistically significant, elevated PCMRs were seen for cancers of the colon, brain, and nervous system, as well as for Hodgkin's disease. These findings suggest the need for further epidemiologic studies of commercial airline pilots.