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How safe is it, really?

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Old November 30th 04, 10:08 PM
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"Slick" wrote in message ...
It's definitely safe as long as the pilot flies regularly. On the other
hand, kinds are the most important thing. From what I've looked into it,
it's cheaper to rent for the average GA pilot. Only because most likely
something will break and need repaired. If nothing broke then it would
definitely be cheaper to own.

Not really, depends on how much you fly!

I have to put 75 more hours in my Cessna 150 and it will have nearly paid
for itself.

Its been there when I want to fly it you know For them 3:00am sleepless
nights not a problem its there for me,

Weather's bad in the morning not a problem I can fly in the afternoon no
conflicts in schedule.

Machines break it is a given and owned airplanes by responsible people I
believe are safer than rentals.

Want to go fly some place for a week? most rentals have min. daily charges.

Don't like the avionics in the rental? if you own you can make it to your
liking. Ill stop there.

Old November 30th 04, 10:13 PM
Darkwing Duck
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"June" wrote in message
I need some information from people 'in the field'. My husband has
his private license and is just starting to work on his IFR for
recreational flying. He wants to buy into a plane partnership, saying
he will be saving money rather than renting.

We have 2 little girls. I worry for his safety as it seems there is
another small plane crash every other time you turn on the news. I
think he should focus on this hobby when the kids are older, not when
he has such a young family.

Your opinions would be appreciated.

Flying low level isn't risky if done right. I know a part time flight
instructor with over 20,000 hours (that's 833.3 days in the air!) with most
of them low level. He is a pipeline patrol pilot! He's cautious and
understands what to look out for, where the obstacles are and how to handle
emergencys. He flies a Cessna 206 and keeps it up on the maintnance. It's
all about risk management. He flies for 4-5 hours sometimes more a day a few
hundred feet off the ground.

Old November 30th 04, 10:15 PM
Jeremy Lew
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What are you basing that on? Has anyone done a statistical analysis after
removing night, IMC, non-182, and buzzing accidents?

"Newps" wrote in message

...Take a 182, fly day VFR only, don't buzz anybody and your
chance of dying is the same as driving...

Old November 30th 04, 10:19 PM
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If you choose to belive Richard Collins, in the latest issue of Flying
Magazine, personal flying is about 30 times more dangerous than the

Old November 30th 04, 10:23 PM
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Bob Moore wrote:

"Back_To_Flying" wrote

I have also seen a few more reports concluding the same. So one could
conclude that driving is still much more dangerous than flying
regardless of age group. Do you have proof of the opposite? Then show
me your source.

The current issue of "Flying" magazine addresses the issue and
provides the documentation that they used.
As I recall, their conclusion was that flying presented 200-300
times the risk that driving did, contrary to what we have all
been led to believe.

That seems like a very high ratio. This comparison of fatality
rates per million hours of a wide variety of activities puts the
ratio at a little over 30 to 1:
based on a study by a group that develops risk models for the
insurance industry.
But the relatively high risk per hour is mitigated by the fact
that even avid GA pilots won't usually fly for as many hours as
avid motorists (or motorcyclists) given practical constraints like
cost, availability, and convenience.
As others have mentioned the statistical figures such as those
given above from Failure Analysis Assoc. necessarily lump together
pilots with very different abilities and risk-aversion. But even
based on this statistical average risk you could fly for an hour
every day from age 20 to age 70 and your chances of dying from
an aviation accident would still only be about one in four.

Old November 30th 04, 10:29 PM
Jeremy Lew
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Of course it is possible, and even likely, for a private pilot to never have
a serious accident during his flying career, but we're talking relative
risks here. Mike's point is that the statistical risk of a serious accident
is much higher for a private pilot than an airline pilot, and about the same
as a motorcycle pilot. Even if you remove pilot error entirely, small GA
planes are much less reliable than airliners. They generally have less
equipment for detecting and dealing with system failures, fires, and
unexpected weather conditions.

"Marco Leon" mmleon(at)yahoo.com wrote in message
I don't understand what you're saying here. There are definitely pilots

there that have flown decades without a reportable accident. Are you

that it isn't even remotely possible that an active private pilot can go
through their entire flying experience without an accident? Please



"Mike Rapoport" wrote in message

"Marco Leon" mmleon(at)yahoo.com wrote in message
I think what he really meant was that there's no reason (when all is

and done) a private pilot can't end up with the same accident record

airline captain.

Marco Leon

That isn't even remotely true.


"Mike Rapoport" wrote in message

"C J Campbell" wrote in


If your husband is in the habit of flying low over the ground,

and taking unnecessary risks, then flying is not very safe at all.

flies "by the book," carefully weighing the risks created by

terrain, the condition of the airplane, and his own condition at

then he is probably as safe as any airline captain.

This is ridiculous. There is no area of GA flying that is even

comparable to airline flying in terms of safety.


Old November 30th 04, 10:52 PM
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This thread reminded me of a statistic I heard on the NASA channel on cable
while falling asleep one evening a few weeks ago. Miles O'Brien of CNN was
addressing a NASA risk symposium and he made the comment that if statistical
risks were the media's guide, they would air twenty seven and a half minutes
of stories on the hazards of smoking for every one second devoted to plane

I was actually able to find a transcript of the conference using Google.
It's he


and here's a little snippet of O'Brien's interesting presentation:

But where else I ask do you find whiners? The media. We are a
bunch of whiners. The media is risk averse but then again we're
everything else averse as well. Kind of the nature of the beast for a
whole host of reasons. Newsrooms attract observers, chroniclers,
malcontents, and chronic complainers. We are as a group professional
skeptics. We are often outright cynics. We look at people, ideas,
philosophies, problems, catastrophes, and calamities, and by nature
and training and years of practice, we reflexively look for the chink in
the armor, the flaws in the logic, the mistakes, the malfeasance, the
masquerades and the manipulators. It's a living, okay?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to rain on my own parade
here. It is an important job, I do believe that, in a Darwinian-
Huxleyesque way. We play a role in our democracy. It's sort of a
natural selection of all that is good and true—or so we like to think.
Now does that mean we're always right? Well, the media is always
accurate, except when it isn't. We've refined this rule, it's now called
the Dan Rather Rule.

In any case, there is a long list of stories we could talk about where the
media has whipped up a frenzy of concern about something that
statistically really wasn't that big a deal after all. Think of the socalled
killers that have been local news, ratings sweep fare. Alar on
the apples, radon in the ground, mold in your basement, shark attacks
on the beach, the nuclear power plant down the street. And as we say
in the newsroom, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Seriously, though, this goes right to the heart of what we do for a
living. People always say to me, why do you focus on shark attacks or
murders or Kobe Bryant when there are so many other pressing issues
that affect so many people? And I say to them, the news business is
about what is news, by definition, then, deaths due to smoking or
accidents on the highway, while a terrible scourge in this country, are
less newsworthy, because sadly they are commonplace, they are

Seriously, if statistical risks were our guide, we would air twenty
seven and a half minutes of stories on the hazards of smoking for
every one second devoted to plane crashes. Twenty seven and a half
minutes on the hazards of smoking, given the number of deaths to
smoking, versus one second devoted to plane crashes. If you hear
that sound in the distance, that's the noise of a million remotes
clicking over to Fox when we do that twenty seven and a half minutes.
Which brings me to Rule #4: There are statistics, damn statistics, and
then there are stories. With rare exceptions, news stories that deal with
some sort of risky endeavor don't put that risk in any sort of context.
Time is short, although for the life of me in a 24-hour network I never
have understood that, why time is short. But most stories you get this
emotional yin and yang. You have a lead that goes something like
this: Some experts say that the Space Shuttle is a bucket of bolts that
needs to be retired. Others disagree. Back and forth it goes for a few
minutes, and then it's, what's Scott Petersen up to anyway, you know?
It is after all a business, and we are reporting against a tide of short
attention spans attached to twitchy thumbs on those cursed remote
controls. Now this really isn't news. While most of us didn't have
remotes in April of 1970 when Apollo XIII was headed toward the
moon, the man in the audience here in command, the country had
already become blasé about such epic voyages.
Imagine that—a trip to the lunar surface and we are blasé. When CBS
broke into regularly scheduled programming with a bulletin indicating
there was trouble on the spacecraft, and the crew was in great peril,
stations were flooded with calls from angry viewers. Put the show
back on, they demanded. The show incidentally was, Lost in Space.


Can't make this up, folks. Truth was stranger than fiction that night.
And people chose fiction. Now if NASA had been listening closely at
that moment, they would have heard the unmistakable catch phrase of
the robot, "Danger, Will Robinson, danger." Big trouble above and
beyond the urgent crisis facing Lovell and crew was brewing.

Old November 30th 04, 11:36 PM
Robert M. Gary
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"Mike Rapoport" wrote in message link.net...
You are fooling yourself.

How so?

According to the Nall Report, the pilot was the
"major cause" of 70% of fatal accidents. This leaves 30%.

Good numbers. Compare that to riding a motorcycle. You could probably
invert those numbers for a motorcycle rider. In a motorcyle you are at
the mercy of the drivers around you. In an airplane you can choose
your level of risk.

Even if you
eliminate all the accidents from risky behavior or poor/rusty skills,
personal flying is still more dangerous than other forms of transport.

I wasn't talking about "other forms" I was talking about motorcycle
riding. I never even said flying wasn't as dangerous as a whole as
motorcycle riding. I said you have more control over the level of

Pilots like to try to twist the stats to suit their beliefs. This makes no
sense to me. The motorcycle stats have people acting irresponsibly too.

Have you ridden before?

The real question is "What is an acceptable level of risk?" That level
varies by person.

Yes. And you can effect that greatly by the type of flying you choose
to do.


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