how safe is to fly...

McD

New Member
Hi everyone!. My name is Marco and I'm from Mexico City. Right now I'm considerating my options in order to attend a flight academy as it has always being my dream. While I was looking for different options I found this great place that has helped me a lot regarding different doubts (thank you Doug as for me and and many more you have help us in so many ways).
The reason I am posting a note is to request for your support on a specific question. My mom she has been really nice letting me pursue my dream, but at the very same time she is a little bit nervous about me flying. So, what I wanted to ask you, is if possible, if you can explain a little bit about how safe is to fly??, so I can show her, the points of view, from actual pilots that do this every day, and with this maybe she can be more confident on the subject. All your support will be really appreciated. Thank you in advance!
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Basically its as safe as you make it. Fatal accidents because of mechanical failure are quite outnumbered by those caused by pilot error. If you take it seriously, and have a safe, professional attitude its not an inherently dangerous job.

And don't worry, all moms worry. I'm a full-time instructor, and my mom still feels the need to remind me to be careful when I talk to her.

Good luck!



-Marshall
 

C650CPT

Well-Known Member
McD
I fly proffessionally about 750 hrs. per year, and have flown both airplanes and helicopters in civilian and military life, and I can confidently say the most dangerous part of my job is driving to the airport. Your Mom is just going through the process of letting you go
as you grow up.
 

cmsuav8r

Well-Known Member
Statistically, you are more likely to be struck by lighting or in a car accident then in a plane accident. Just don't become the bad side of the statistic
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
All those stats apply to commercial aircraft... GA airplanes unfortunately have a worse fatality record per passenger mile than cars. BUT in cars you only have control of your own car, any one of the millions of people out there could be the guy who kills you. In planes YOU have control over your own fate, which is why it is as safe as YOU chose to make it. 85% of all fatalities are due in some part to pilot error;

Keep your head in the game and your guard up and there's no reason why you can't virtually elimate the possibility of screwing up so bad that you kill yourself in a plane. The rest is an accepted risk (and it's negligible!).
 

Bluto

New Member
"85% of all fatalities are due in some part to pilot error"
SkyGuyEd,
I have to disagree with you on this one. Having a little bit of a safety background, statements like this always bother me. What exactly does that mean, 'pilot error'. The pilot did (or didn't do) something that made the airplane crash? Well, in that case 100% of aviation accidents are due to pilot error. If the pilot hadn't chosen to go flying, they never would have happened. This kind of thinking completely disregards the roles of the FAA (certification/screening), aircraft manufacturers (design, ergonomics, etc.) and flight instructors (just to name a few) in aviation safety. In my opinion, the vast majority of accidents chalked up to 'pilot errror' are done so due to laziness on the part of the investigator. Pilots make mistakes, the primary purpose of the system is to minimize the liklihood that those mistakes are fatal ones.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
[ QUOTE ]
I have to disagree with you on this one. Having a little bit of a safety background, statements like this always bother me. What exactly does that mean, 'pilot error'.

[/ QUOTE ]

Fine if you want to disagree; however I didn't just make it up. If you were to total all the NTSB reports and figure how many fatal accidents were attribuited in some part to pilot error... you'd have a number right up there around 85%.

As for the definition... well I don't have a dictionary handy but I'd bet it has something to do with the action or inaction of a pilot that contributed to the accident chain.

An example would be the failure to follow procedures after a comm failure in IMC and flying into a mountian. The comm failure didn't cause the crash, the pilot did.

A less obvious case would be a forced landing in other than suitable terrain, when something softer was availible.


[ QUOTE ]
In my opinion, the vast majority of accidents chalked up to 'pilot errror' are done so due to laziness on the part of the investigator.

[/ QUOTE ]

I disagree. I will say that some accidents are obviously unavoidable... but again that's just an accepted risk.

As alarming as the 85% number is, it does show how much control we really do have over our fate. Don't make the same mistakes as they did, and you won't be part of that number.
 

pljenkins

Resident Knucklehead
[ QUOTE ]
All those stats apply to commercial aircraft... GA airplanes unfortunately have a worse fatality record per passenger mile than cars. BUT in cars you only have control of your own car, any one of the millions of people out there could be the guy who kills you.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'd like to see where you got that statistic. First of all, niether total miles per fatal accident for autos nor GA aircraft are concrete, as there is no verifiable way to determine how many miles were driven and flown a given day, since neither report how many miles they drove/flew that day. One can band around the statistic that there's a fatal car accident in the US every 18 minutes or something like that, and, applying the same logic, you could say that there's a fatal GA accident every 10 hours. Neither of these are entirely accurate, either.

See what I'm getting at? Yes, getting in your car exposes you to a greater risk of death. So does getting into an airplane. So does going out your front door to get the mail. Life is a series of calculated risks.

As for the "80% of crashes are pilot error" statement. Well, there again, what really DEFINES pilot error. This is such a grey area it makes Seattle look sunny. One could logically deduce that a pilots act of getting into the airplane for the purpose of flight was erronious, thus, ALL accidents can be attributed to pilot error. Let's blame it all on Wilbur Wright! There are certainly examples of pilot error that are indisputable (John Kennedy, jr., for example). But one could also argue that the Concorde accident in France was also pilot error. Or United 232. Where is the line in the sand?

I take issue with blanket statements like the one quoted here... It doesn't take nearly the training and scrutiny to drive a car then it does to fly a plane. A drive around Cincinnati would prove that point!

P.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
I really can't see why I should take heat for simply presenting some numbers. That wasn't the point of my post anyways; the point was that Outside of an act of God or just plain BAD luck, we have direct control over our fate when flying a plane.

....Which is why I am of the opinion that flying is as safe as we chose to make it.

If you'd like to argue otherwise you can PM me or email me (check my profile). I'll be more than happy to share some refrences with you... actually some of them are quite interesting reading if you have the chance. This will be my last post on the topic, however, beacuse it's really semantics at this point. Again, email or PM me if you wish.
 

Sprint100

Well-Known Member
I am with SkyGuy on this one. He is only sharing information...don't kill the messenger LOL!!!!!!!!
I am assuming that when pilot error is said, it is implied that during those emergency situations (or directly leading to the emergency situation) the pilot's action, or lack of action, led to the accident. I'd like to think it's more than just deciding to fly that day LOL.
 
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