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How safe is it, really?



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 30th 04, 04:50 PM
June
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Default How safe is it, really?

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.
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  #2  
Old November 30th 04, 05:02 PM
Mike Rapoport
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Personal flying is about as safe as riding a motorcycle.

Mike
MU-2


"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.



  #3  
Old November 30th 04, 05:13 PM
Icebound
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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 suggest you read this article:

http://www.rodmachado.com/Articles/Danger.htm

A pilot has far greater control over his own safety, than does a driver of
an automobile.


  #4  
Old November 30th 04, 05:15 PM
Dale
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In article . net,
"Mike Rapoport" wrote:

Personal flying is about as safe as riding a motorcycle.


And depends greatly on the individual.

--
Dale L. Falk

There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing
as simply messing around with airplanes.

http://home.gci.net/~sncdfalk/flying.html
  #5  
Old November 30th 04, 05:28 PM
NW_PILOT
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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.



Just think how you would feel if they told about every car accident on the
news.



  #6  
Old November 30th 04, 05:43 PM
gatt
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"June" wrote in message

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.


Meanwhile, there are so many automobile crashes that they're not even
newsworthy anymore.



  #7  
Old November 30th 04, 05:43 PM
C J Campbell
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While it is true that statistics overall say that flying an airplane is
about as hazardous as riding a motorcycle, the vast majority of flying
accidents are due to pilot error. In other words, the pilot made poor
choices about when to fly, what to fly, or where. Flying IFR at night in
areas of forecast icing over mountains in a light single engine airplane is
probably a poor choice.

If your husband is in the habit of flying low over the ground, showing off
and taking unnecessary risks, then flying is not very safe at all. If he
flies "by the book," carefully weighing the risks created by weather,
terrain, the condition of the airplane, and his own condition at the time,
then he is probably as safe as any airline captain.

The reason you hear about small airplane accidents in the news is because
they are rare. After all, the vast majority of automobile accidents, even
the fatal ones, never make it into the news because there are thousands of
automobile accidents every day. So airplane accidents happen rarely enough
to get reported, but just often enough to keep up a steady drumbeat of
"flying is not safe" in the news.

Risk management is an important concept in flying safety. Pilots are taught
that they should always have an "out" in case something unexpected happens.
For example, flying low in an unfamiliar mountain canyon might seem to be a
lot of fun, but it is more risky than flying at 10,000 feet on a cross
country over a well travelled route. Risks increase when you are flying low
because of the greater chance of encountering obstructions, fewer choices in
emergency landing areas in the event of some malfunction, and the
possibility of getting trapped by rising terrain or lowering weather. Risks
increase at night because of the greater difficulty in choosing an emergency
landing area in the event one is needed, more difficulty in navigation,
invisible terrain, pilot fatigue, and the need to fly on instruments when
the pilot may not be qualified or rusty.

No pilot of small airplanes will intentionally fly into a thunderstorm, yet
pilots do it with alarming frequency. Why? Well, they thought that thin band
of weather up ahead was benign and they decided to just punch through it.
They had gotten away with it many times before and were lulled into thinking
it was safe. But this time the thin band of weather was not so thin and it
concealed a thunderstorm.

Your husband's instrument training will make him a better pilot and,
arguably, a safer one if he flies regularly. He will learn how to handle the
plane better, how to read the weather better, and will be watched much more
closely by air traffic control services. You can do a great deal to help him
fly more safely. First of all, encourage him to fly often to keep in
practice. Discourage him from flying when he is tired or if he is medicated
with drugs or alcohol, sick, or emotionally high or low. Encourage him to
get weather briefings every time he flies and discuss with him the
particular risks involved with each flight. By becoming pro-active,
supportive of good flying practices, and helping him to prepare for his
flights you can be a big factor in his flying safely.


  #8  
Old November 30th 04, 05:51 PM
Mike Rapoport
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"C J Campbell" wrote in message
...

If your husband is in the habit of flying low over the ground, showing off
and taking unnecessary risks, then flying is not very safe at all. If he
flies "by the book," carefully weighing the risks created by weather,
terrain, the condition of the airplane, and his own condition at the time,
then he is probably as safe as any airline captain.


This is ridiculous. There is no area of GA flying that is even remotely
comparable to airline flying in terms of safety.

Mike
MU-2


  #9  
Old November 30th 04, 05:58 PM
Marco Leon
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I think what he really meant was that there's no reason (when all is said
and done) a private pilot can't end up with the same accident record as an
airline captain.

Marco Leon


"Mike Rapoport" wrote in message
ink.net...

"C J Campbell" wrote in message
...

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

off
and taking unnecessary risks, then flying is not very safe at all. If he
flies "by the book," carefully weighing the risks created by weather,
terrain, the condition of the airplane, and his own condition at the

time,
then he is probably as safe as any airline captain.


This is ridiculous. There is no area of GA flying that is even remotely
comparable to airline flying in terms of safety.

Mike
MU-2




  #10  
Old November 30th 04, 05:59 PM
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How can anyone say "how" safe it is? You want statistics? Some say, as
with any other method of transportation, if you get to your destination,
it was safe; if you crash before you get there, it wasn't.

Your concern, having small children, is one shared by many spouses and
SOs, flying and non-flying alike.

Just a couple of *opinions*:
(1) in order to stay on top of all there is to remember and to keep your
actual flying skills sharp, you need to fly regularly, no long lay-offs
between flights. Flying only enough necessary to rent without doing a
checkout beforehand (*generally* once every 60 days -- that varies from
FBO to FBO, depending on the airplane, etc.) is thought by many to be
less safe than flying *more* regularly. If he's working on his
instrument rating, he is not only actively making an effort to increase
his skills/knowledge in order to be as safe as possible, but he's
probably flying often to maintain and build on his skills and is likely
having regular input/evaluation by a CFI;
(2) I'm not so sure about saving money (though having the instrument
rating is a plus with insurance), but being part or full owner of an
airplane means that he would be fully aware of and in a position to
arrange for *maintenance* himself by a mechanic that he knows/trusts ...
as opposed to renting, where some maintenance issues may or may not be
brought to the attention of the facility, may or may not be divulged to
renters, may or may not be addressed in a timely manner, to the degree
YOU would if it were your personal airplane, or by a person whose work
you would put your faith in, etc.

As for there being a small plane crash every time you turn on the news,
airplane crashes are newsworthy and rarely go unreported. Are you
concerned about his safety when he drives to work every morning? ...of
course you are, but my point is, how many automobile crashes are there
every day that never make the news? Most pilots at least *think* about
the possibility each time they fly; do you think about that possibility
every time you load the little ones into the car on a leisurely Sunday
afternoon? Not meaning to make light of your very justifiable concern,
just trying to present a little perspective.
 




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