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How safe is it, really?



 
 
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  #51  
Old December 1st 04, 12:04 AM
Judah
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Mike,
You seem to insist that flying is inherently more dangerous than other
modes of transportation, but fail to quote any sources or relevant
statistics. True, some percentage of motorcycle and automobile accidents
are caused by "pilot error". But living in the New York area, I am much
more sensitive to the fact that many accidents in high traffic areas are
caused by errors of ANOTHER driver. For example, over the last few days on
the news, they have been updating the story of a van that veered into
oncoming traffic and caused an accident that involved 2 fatalities. I
believe they are bringing charges up on the driver (who survived). A few
months ago, a family was killed on the Tappan Zee Bridge when traffic came
to a stop, but a Tractor Trailer failed to be able to stop in time. I
believe 4 or 5 cars were involved in the final accident results, but at
least one family was killed, including a baby if I remember correctly.

Accidents like these are not very likely in GA aircraft. I can't think of
any situation in an airborne craft when you would be 2 seconds away from
the plane in front of you. And while there are unquestionably mechanical
failures that will most likely lead to an accident in an airplane, such as
a failed engine, or failed instruments, there are also failures in
automobiles that lead to accidents. Some years back, Audi was sued because
of failures related to their accelerator and brakes that led to fatalities.
Tire blowouts can be serious. Sure an engine out is not as likely to cause
a fatality on the ground as it is on the air, but a brake failure on a car
is much worse in a car on a highway than in a plane in the air (or even on
the ground for that matter!).

I am fairly convinced that most of the fears of flying are just control
issues and/or ignorance. The risks of flying are real, just as the risks of
driving are real. Just as the risks of crossing the street are real! I know
people who refuse to drive on highways, or at night, because they are too
afraid. In some ways, it has to do with "What is an acceptable level of
risk." But moreso I think it has to do with, "How can I manage the risks
(ie: control my fate)?" And if someone doesn't understand the hows and whys
of flying, they will believe it to be out of their control, and be afraid
of it.

The answer is education...

To the OP I say go take a lesson! Go have a Discovery Flight at your
husband's flight school and find out for yourself the realities of how it
works and how natural it really is! Then, even if you end up not flying
again, you'll probably feel more comfortable with the whole thing...


"Mike Rapoport" wrote in
ink.net:

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

The real question is "What is an acceptable level of risk?" That level
varies by person. I have this discussion with my wife over mountain
climbing all the time. My view is that you cannot perserve life, you
have to live it.

Mike
MU-2


"Robert M. Gary" wrote in message
om...
(June) wrote in message
. com...
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.


The motorcycle comparison is not a good one. Really, the safety has
everything to do with the type of guy your husband is. If he's the
type of person that is going to want to do low level buzzing over his
friends houses or jump into weather he isn't trained to deal with, it
could be dangerous. Unlike a motorcycle, a pilot gets to choose his
level of risk. I've flown with pilots that worry me, and I've flown
with pilots that will have very long lives. It really depends on his
choices. I have two young boys myself.

-Robert, Flight Instructor.




  #52  
Old December 1st 04, 12:04 AM
Clay
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"Back_To_Flying" 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.

He is in more danger of dying in a car crash on the way to the airport.
Driving is still the most dangerous activity we humans do.

Richard

"June" wrote in message
om...

Actually, It would be more dangerous to call out someone else's name
while making love to your spouse. lol
  #53  
Old December 1st 04, 12:12 AM
kage
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I completely agree. NOT safe. Dangerous!

I've been flying for 40 years. I can count at least 30 people I knew who are
dead from flying light aircraft.

I know of only one friend who died in a car accident. And I know hundreds of
times the people who drive rather than fly.

Looks about right to me. 200-300 times more dangerous to fly than drive.

Every time that happen I always wish that I could have been there, just to
say---NO, it's not a good day. Or, John Jr., level the wings! ( I met John
Jr.) Or, lets stop here for gas and spend the night. I am forever being
chicken to fly in certain conditions, and the older I get the chickener I
get! Also, I carry 150 pounds of survival gear. That's why I need a Skywagon
to carry it all.

Karl "curator" N185KG
ATP BE30, CE-500, LR-JET, DA-50

"Bob Moore" wrote in message
. 121...
"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.

Bob Moore



  #54  
Old December 1st 04, 01:05 AM
G.R. Patterson III
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Richard Russell wrote:

If I die on the bike, it's just as
likely that I die from someone else's screwup.


Actually it will be because some automobile driver succeeded in his or her
attempt to kill you.

George Patterson
If a man gets into a fight 3,000 miles away from home, he *had* to have
been looking for it.
  #56  
Old December 1st 04, 01:08 AM
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Judah wrote:
You seem to insist that flying is inherently more dangerous than other
modes of transportation, but fail to quote any sources or relevant
statistics.


What difference does it make in the big picture? Even if flying *is*
more dangerous than other modes of transportation, how does that help
the original poster?...is she going to go back and tell her husband that
someone on this newsgroup cited a source that says "flying is inherently
more dangerous than other modes of transportation" and is he just going
to say "Oh, okay, honey ... here's my pilot certificate, we'll just
shred it right now!" ???

Does anyone here make the decision on whether or not to fly based on
"more dangerous" or "less dangerous" claims or on relevant or irrelevant
*statistics*? If you *thought* your odds of surviving a year's worth of
flying were 99%, and then someone showed you statistics that said your
odds are really 80% instead, would that be enough to make you give it
up?...or would you still strive to be as skilled as you can and do as
much to assure that each flight you take is as safe as is feasibly
possible and keep flying?

Bottom line is it doesn't matter what statistics show ... if a person
has a passion for flying, if they trust that their aircraft is
mechanically sound, and if they are diligent about weather, personal
limits and other factors that go into planning each flight, it isn't
going to matter which method of transportation is statistically safer
than another. If statistics showed that taking the train is safer, are
you going to stop flying and take up train conducting instead? There's
no guarantee that every flight's going to be safe, and while OTHERS may
try and quote statistics to stop someone ELSE from flying, I don't
believe the actual numbers (more safe?/less safe?) are the deciding
factor when it boils down to the individual actually doing the flying.
  #57  
Old December 1st 04, 01:11 AM
mindenpilot
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"June" wrote in message
om...
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.


I've got you beat.
I've got 3 little girls, ages 6, 4, and 1 1/2.
I would never do anything I felt would leave them without a father.
Furthermore, I would NEVER put them in harm's way.
I am a private pilot (thinking about instrument), and I just bought my first
plane, and I fly for fun, too.
That being said, I take my girls flying all the time, and they love it.
I only fly in conditions I am comfortable with, especially if I have them
with me.
I have gone up in some yucky conditions, but never dangerous, just bumpy,
and never with the kids.
I steer clear of clouds, and maintain enough altitude to safe land in an
emergency.
I THOROUGHLY inspect my plane before AND AFTER each flight.
If something's not right, I don't fly.
If your husband does these simple things, he will be an extremely safe
pilot, and you and your girls will probably learn to love flying with him.

Best Wishes,

Adam
N7966L
Beech Super III


  #58  
Old December 1st 04, 01:11 AM
G.R. Patterson III
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PaulH wrote:

News outlets seem to focus on small plane crashes for reasons I've
never understood.


Because if it happens frequently, it's not news. They concentrate on them
because crashes don't happen very often.

George Patterson
If a man gets into a fight 3,000 miles away from home, he *had* to have
been looking for it.
  #59  
Old December 1st 04, 01:32 AM
Andrew Sarangan
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It is important to remember than airline pilots flying an airliner is
different from an airline pilot flying a small GA aircraft.


  #60  
Old December 1st 04, 02:08 AM
Mike Rapoport
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"Andrew Sarangan" wrote in message
om...
The accident rate is about 7 per 100,000 hours flown, and the fatal
accident rate is about 1.3 per 100,000 hours flown. Remember that
these are averages, and it includes high risk activities such as low
level maneuvering, scud running and fuel exhaustion. My guess is, for
a conservative pilot with an instrument rating, the rate is likely to
be about half of the above numbers. A typical private pilot flies
about 100 hours per year. At that rate, it would be 300 years before
he would encounter an accident, or 1500 years for a fatal accident.

Comparison to riding a motorcycle is a good one. But the difference
is, a motorcycle accident doesn't always make the evening news.


I agree that those are the odds but I don't understand why you think that
the risk for a "conservative pilot with an instrument rating is about half".
Keep in mind that the 1.3/100k hrs includes corporate flying which has a
fatal accident rate *much* lower than for piston GA and a lot of the "GA"
hours are in that catagory.

Mike
MU-2



 




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