general public's perception of "those little planes"

montanapilot

Well-Known Member
general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

I m not too far away from getting my license and I've talked to some of my friends about goin flyin after I get my license. However everybody i talk to is deathly afraid of "those little planes". They always say "Those are the ones that crash all the time" and "Thats all you hear about is people dying in those little planes".

Anyway my question is how do I convince my non-flying friends that general aviation isn't as dangerous as the media makes it out to be. And to come flying with me sometime. All they say is "yeah i've flown on the airlines but you won't get my up in one of those little planes."
 

Kingairer

'Tiger Team' Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

Youll be cursed with the "you fly little planes" syndrome until you flying something with a B7, DC, A3, or MD in front of it.
 

SkyyAngel

Well-Known Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

I would actually be more comfortable flying in those "little ones" than the big ones. Lot less information you have to be paying attention too and such...plus most of the pilots of the little ones aren't willing to T/O with a/c malfunctions and/or WX because corporate HQ tells them they have to.

Plus...when was the last time you were on an airliner doing power on stalls for the hell of it?? Now THOSE are fun!!
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

One of my friends said the only way he'd go up is if he had a parachute. I asked him why, and he said "In case a wing falls off or something."
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

[ QUOTE ]
Anyway my question is how do I convince my non-flying friends that general aviation isn't as dangerous as the media makes it out to be. And to come flying with me sometime. All they say is "yeah i've flown on the airlines but you won't get my up in one of those little planes."


[/ QUOTE ]

My advice? Screw 'em. Don't waste your time/money. Take someone up who will love it and enjoy it. I would much rather take up a starry-eyed little kid (or adult for that matter) that I don't even know and have them have an awesome experience, than a friend who grumbles about "those little planes" (although since most of my friends are pilots, I don't hear that much
).

[ QUOTE ]
One of my friends said the only way he'd go up is if he had a parachute.

[/ QUOTE ]

And I really hate it when people say that. Strap a parachute to your average dip$hit and throw them out of the plane and I'll bet my next 3 paychecks that they go splat.
 

JHines

New Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

[ QUOTE ]
how do I convince my non-flying friends that general aviation isn't as dangerous as the media makes it out to be. And to come flying with me sometime.

[/ QUOTE ]

There's probably no cure for a general ignorance of the facts.

However, as far as getting them on the plane, try devising a trip so compelling they will forget about their fear.

Example: Portland, Maine to Acadia National Forest (in Bar Harbor) is a 3+ hour drive. But, KPWM to KBHB is a 1 hour flight, even in a tired old rental 172. The plane lets you spend your day enjoying the park instead of taking half the day getting there. There must be some similar length trips in Montana.

OK, I know that's kind of corny, but it's worth a try. I would just say go with EatSleepFly's recommendation, but I think GA needs all the friends it can get. I think once someone goes up once, they'll either be hooked, or at least convinced it's not a deathtrap.
 

kostcoguy

New Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

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Plus...when was the last time you were on an airliner doing power on stalls for the hell of it?? Now THOSE are fun!!


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I like the way you think! lol.
 

sixpack

New Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

If you look at the statistics (or insurance rates) one can justify the public's perception. Fatalities are high in small (private) planes.

However (and I don't have quantative data on this), I'll bet if you filter out the fatalities caused by "pilot error" from these statistics, you might find that small planes are quite safe. In other words, the plane is not necessarily dangerous. The pilot is the biggest factor in making the plane safe or not. If you're a safe pilot with good judgement, your flight will be safe.
 
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

Here is the plan. All you need is a small terrycloth towel and a bottle of ether. Lure your friend........ Just kidding, hey, if I lived anywhere near you, I would say take me. I have never been in a small plane. In fact, I have only been on a plane twice (A-320 PIT to SFO, and then the trip back). I was hooked from the words "we are cleared for takeoff.....". Imagine staring up at a 275' Sequoia tree for the first time and not being able to get the dream of the flight home out of your head. Working on 4 yr. degree, PPL, and medicals now. Hope to get some experience soon, real soon!

I really think that Jhines has a good point, offer going on a flight to a cool destination in your area. That should work sufficiently. If not, then follow Eat Sleep Fly's advice and say to heck with them and take a little kid or something. I would have to agree with both guys to a certain point.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

[ QUOTE ]
If you look at the statistics (or insurance rates) one can justify the public's perception. Fatalities are high in small (private) planes.


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Those statistics are very questionable!

Why not look up traffic accidents and compare those ???
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

It's amazing to me just how ignorant people are about aviation. They seem to think that airplanes just fall out of the sky. You tell them that, no, airplanes don't just fall out of the sky and they'll say, well, JFK Jr's plane did. Then you tell them that JFK Jr. was an idiot and flew more airplane than he could handle in conditions he couldn't handle and they ask you why.

Explain that to them and they ask you, well, how do you know you won't do that. Tell them, look, I won't go flying without an instrument rating in haze over water, okay, and then they wonder why you're all pissed off.

People are idiots. The same person who told me that I'd drop out of the sky thinks that it's safer to ride a motorcycle in rush hour traffic!
 

kostcoguy

New Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

...then they're gonna ask you what an instrument rating is.
 

sbav8r

New Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

Just wait until you start getting the question,"so when are you going to get a job flying real planes." Or, "when will you be a real pilot."
 

turpentyine

New Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

[ QUOTE ]
It's amazing to me just how ignorant people are about aviation. They seem to think that airplanes just fall out of the sky. You tell them that, no, airplanes don't just fall out of the sky and they'll say, well, JFK Jr's plane did. Then you tell them that JFK Jr. was an idiot and flew more airplane than he could handle in conditions he couldn't handle and they ask you why.

Explain that to them and they ask you, well, how do you know you won't do that. Tell them, look, I won't go flying without an instrument rating in haze over water, okay, and then they wonder why you're all pissed off.

People are idiots. The same person who told me that I'd drop out of the sky thinks that it's safer to ride a motorcycle in rush hour traffic!

[/ QUOTE ]


hahahahah motorcycle in rush hour traffic thats funny!!!
 

Sprint100

Well-Known Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

Yeah the real JFK story is a good one to bring up. Plus, dazzle them with safety aspects (ie., how redundant most systems are). Usually the questions I get stop after I state that most accidents are pilot error not mechanical failure. If that doesn't do anything, forget 'em.
 

sigmanu499

New Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

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Then you tell them that JFK Jr. was an idiot

[/ QUOTE ]

great point.

I have had that conversation, and thats exactly how its goes.
 

I_Money

Moderator
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

I hate to say it but there are a lot of aviators who are flying more plane then they should in conditions they should not be in. Safety starts and ends at the pilot - it is up to him/her to make sure that flight is going to be safe.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

Maybe JFK wasn't an idiot but what's the point? Ask people if they still take showers and baths, yet more people have died in bathtub incidents in one year than in aviation accidents for the last five (as long as you don't count 9-11 as an "accident")

20-20 did a great feature on safety and death risk of various activities a few years back. There is really no way to display all the statistics in an understandable manner, so they did this:

Suppose flying takes 1 day off your life expectancy. Then the following activities take so many days off: (and this is all I remember)

Driving a car: 181 days
Home Improvement: 333 days
Smoking: 8.3 years
Poverty: 17+ years

There were a lot more but I think you get the idea.

Hey we are always working to make aviation safer aren't we? And we are doing a pretty good job so far.
 

secretapproach

New Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

My girlfriend had to get life insurance to take out a mortgage. They don't cover her if she gets hurt in a "non-commercial" aviation accident. But I'm sure they would pay up if she plowed her car into the back of a traffic jam. At least it wouldn't be that scary "non-commercial" aviation!
 

John_Doe

New Member
Re: general public\'s perception of \"those little planes\"

Tell your friend that he/she is right. There have been 243 fatal aircraft accidents this year in the USA, and over 90 percent of them were in 'those little planes'. (www.ntsb.gov)

I don't have the deaths per 100,000 participants information, but I don't think we are doing very well (even compared to automobiles).

That addage 'it's safer to fly than drive to the airport' is probably true if you are on an airliner, but that's not so in a GA aircraft.

I toured a flight school and took a ride with the instructor. 4 days later he crashed and died. A couple of months later, a guy crahed into the ski hill where I worked. I lost a flight school friend within a year and a half of learning to fly.

I don't know anyone who has died in an auto accident.

The first pages of 'Fate is the Hunter' are filled with the names of pilot friends the author lost, not to mention the title of the book.
 
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