By Randy “Howler” Howell
Early this week, one of our team members flew from California to New York, and then back again the next day. Total flight time to travel across the country twice was about 12 hours. 100 years ago, just one half of that trip would have taken over a month via the transcontinental railroad, which was the fastest mode of transportation in 1913.
How far we have come.
Yet, there are still many people out there who are afraid to fly. Metaphorically speaking, they are birds without wings. They dream of traveling to new places, and perhaps warmer climates, but they allow their fears to keep them on the ground.
Our pilots here at Patriot Jet Team headquarters just can’t leave that alone. Of course the sky is a pilot’s second home, but still our pilots find it impossible to believe that some people are too afraid to fly. So, we asked them to address three of the most common misconceptions people have about flying.
Here’s what we learned.
Common Misconception # 1: A lot of people are killed in airline crashes each year.
While we in no way want to imply that any number of deaths is acceptable, the truth is that the number of deaths caused by airline accidents is actually very low when it is compared to the number of passengers who fly each year. In fact, a researcher at MIT published a paper that said your chance of being killed in an airplane accident is one in 7 million. If you lived to be 100 and flew twice a day every day of your life, that would still only be 73,000 flights.
Common Misconception # 2: Planes are unsafe.
Ask anyone who’s flight has been delayed or canceled due to a mechanical problem, and they will tell you how seriously airlines take aircraft maintenance. Besides the obvious safety reasons, airlines meticulously maintain their aircrafts because they are extraordinarily expensive. Improper jet maintenance would lead to the ruin of any carrier, and so it just doesn’t happen.
Common Misconception # 3: Even if planes are safe, human error still makes flying unsafe.
Hollywood films like 2012’s “Flight” sensationalize the freedom and control that airline pilots have. Movies like this do not make mention of the rigorous training and safety precautions the FAA requires of commercial pilots. They also do not give enough factual information about how many people work together to ensure a flight’s safety. Although human error can occur, there are many precautions built into the system to help prevent them.
Here at Patriots Jet Team headquarters, we are all crazy about aviation. We love flying because it makes the world smaller, and it brings people together. Adventure, love and new experiences are waiting at every new airport. We hope that all our friends will spread the word about airline safety and encourage others to get in the air.
Until next time, keep on flying high!
To learn more about flight safety statistics, visit the FAA’s homepage. http://www.faa.gov/
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