How safe is flying?

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sportflugzeug
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How safe is flying?

Postby sportflugzeug » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:56 am

I just completed my first flight on Tuesday. Woke up this morning with the news saying 257 died in one plane crash and 6 died in another.

Of course, I know there will always be accidents; electrical failures, fuel shortage, and human error.

But, how safe is flying generally?

Warmi
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby Warmi » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:19 am

Short answer ...

Commercial - very safe , no different than driving cars and safer if you consider the total distance you get to cover.
GA , statistically, compared to commercial aviation, you are about 10 times more likely to die in a small plane crash and overall is similar to riding a motorcycle.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

sportflugzeug
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby sportflugzeug » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:26 am

Thanks Warmi.

I just didn’t know the statistics. I’m not too worried about it, but my wife came in the room this morning and said “turn the tv on honey”. :|

chicagorandy
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby chicagorandy » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:45 am

I would still contend that the most hazardous part of flying, commercial or GA, is the drive to the airport.

I ride a motorcycle, I scuba dive, and I live in the middle of Chicago. I've made it to 69 years and counting so life hasn't killed me yet......but given enough time it most certainly will.

I like William Shatner's personal motto - "Live like you're going to die, because you are."

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drseti
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby drseti » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:52 am

In his column in the January issue of Flying Magazine, John King cited these statistics on fatality rates:
Air Carrier flight, 7 times safer than driving.
GA flight, 7 times less safe than driving.
Intetesting symmetry. That makes GA 49 times more hazardous than the airlines. :(
I think the metric was fatalities per 100,000 miles.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
http://facebook.com/SportFlying

Warmi
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby Warmi » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:11 am

drseti wrote:In his column in the January issue of Flying Magazine, John King cited these statistics on fatality rates:
Air Carrier flight, 7 times safer than driving.
GA flight, 7 times less safe than driving.
Intetesting symmetry. That makes GA 49 times more hazardous than the airlines. :(
I think the metric was fatalities per 100,000 miles.


On the other hand if you switch to hours ( vs miles ) airlines and driving are about equal while GA still lags behind.

The way I look at it, nothing is safe and GA, especially if you exclude certain accident prone aspects like all-weather/IMC flying, is plenty safe enough for me.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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drseti
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby drseti » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:22 am

One of the reasons GA lags behind in safety is that it includes experimental aircraft. (Think the John Denver accident).
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
http://facebook.com/SportFlying

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joey4420
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby joey4420 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:08 pm

And unless I am wrong (I am a new sport pilot), but most of all GA accidents are cause by pilot error. This error could be in flight error or preflight/planning error, but none the less it is mostly on us. So check fuel levels before takeoff, make sure your not over weight or out of CG for takeoff or for planned landing if your plane has that issue, and make sure the plane is as ready to fly as you are and vice versa.
Joey
Cincinnati OH
Sport Pilot
Ercoupe N99773

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drseti
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby drseti » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:18 pm

Joey, pilot error is a convenient catch-all that covers a multitude of sins. If we break it down, the two leading causes within that category are VFR into IMC, and controlled flight into terrain. These are areas we must continue to emphasize in both initial and recurrent training. Sadly, these have been the two most common safety concerns since at least the 1970s. so we have a long way to go if we are going to mitigate them.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
http://facebook.com/SportFlying

TimTaylor
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:33 pm

I don't know the statistics, but my life insurance company, that specializes in insurance for pilots, charges me a lot more because I fly. It's not something I worry about because I am very diligent in following the rules and doing everything within my power to stay safe. That said, I think motorcycles are a risk not worth taking. I've made it to 70 years of age although my doctor said I would die 5 1/2 years ago. Statistics apply to large groups of people, not individuals.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

HAPPYDAN
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby HAPPYDAN » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:47 pm

For some solid facts, access this website:
https://airfactsjournal.com/2017/09/gen ... 12-charts/
Then scroll down to #9 and #10. Accident wise, things have gotten better over the years. It's always been a problem with spouses experiencing trepidation, because airplane crashes always seem to be newsworthy. Car crashes? So what. Everybody has them. Gunshot injuries? Daily routine. But AIRPLANE crashes, now that's news. I have heard that old adage "There are 2 types of pilots; those who have crashed and those that will crash.". But I've had the misfortune to know more people that have been injured and killed on bicycles than cars, motorcycles, and airplanes combined :( .

TimTaylor
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:31 pm

HAPPYDAN wrote:I have heard that old adage "There are 2 types of pilots; those who have crashed and those that will crash."

I've never heard that one. I think it's more pessimistic than most.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

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ShawnM
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby ShawnM » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:47 am

TimTaylor wrote:
HAPPYDAN wrote:I have heard that old adage "There are 2 types of pilots; those who have crashed and those that will crash."

I've never heard that one. I think it's more pessimistic than most.


The other old adage is “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots but there are no old, bold pilots”.

I feel that it’s pretty safe and never fly outside my skill level. I consider myself a very conservative pilot. As stated make sure you and your plane are in the best heath before you go, and there’s enough fuel in the tank for your trip. Is there some risk, absolutely, but the excitement and adventure outweighs that risk for me. I know that when I hurl myself at the other end of the runway there’s no guarantee for a safe return.

I’m a pilot and know the risks involved. You’ll read various statistics all over the web but at the end of the day you need to decide if the risk is too much for you. Or in your case, if your wife decides it’s too much for her. :mrgreen:

sportflugzeug
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby sportflugzeug » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:52 am

Well said Shawn.

On that note, I had a scheduled flight tomorrow, but it has low ceilings and low visibility in Chicagoland. I spoke to my CFI and he said cancellation is at 85%. :cry:

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joey4420
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Re: How safe is flying?

Postby joey4420 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:01 am

Low Visibility and wind gusts... Ugh

TAF (KORD)

From Apr 14, 3:00 AM to 8:00 AM
Summary: IFR
Winds: From 50 degrees at 16 Kts gusting to 26 Kts
Visibility: 2 statute mile(s)
Sky conditions: Few clouds at 400 Ft AGL, Overcast at 800 Ft AGL
Weather: Light rain showers with mist

From Apr 14, 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Summary: MVFR
Winds: From 50 degrees at 24 Kts gusting to 34 Kts
Visibility: 5 statute mile(s)
Sky conditions: Scattered clouds at 800 Ft AGL, Broken clouds at 1200 Ft AGL, Overcast at 2000 Ft AGL
Weather: Light rain showers with mist
Joey
Cincinnati OH
Sport Pilot
Ercoupe N99773


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