Why do people get nervous when they fly?

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  • #1652012

    Cessna172
    Participant

    I have a private pilots license, and many of my friends are scared to fly with me. Does anyone have a valid reason for this ridiculous behavior?!?!

    #1652036

    akuperma
    Participant

    1. Private planes have a much worse safety record than airlines. One reason is that private pilots don’t get as much experience as professional pilots, and few have sufficient funds to provide the same level of maintenance as airlines or the armed forces.

    2. While planes may have a better safety record than surface transit, the liklihood of surviving an airplance crash is much less. Remember that if your car, bus or train develops mechanical trouble, you are at most delayed. If a plane develops mechanical problems in flight, it is likely to be fatal.

    #1652169

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @chatzerstrauss

    And what type of plane are you rated for and what do you fly?

    I wouldn’t be interested in flying a Piper Cherokee with you at the controls, but if you had the rating and a G3, G4, G5 or G6 or a Phenom 300 I might consider it.

    My Key-man life insurance policy held by my form prohibits my flying in single engine private aircraft or private/charter jets without 2 pilots.

    #1652176

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @akuperma
    I believe you may be conflating ‘private’ and ‘professional’ in regards to pilots.
    I regularly fly private (NetJets or charter). The Pilots are definitely professional, but operate private planes. This is different form the recreational pilot who pilots small prop planes for joy.
    Most of the charter pilots I’ve encountered in the USA have many years of experience and like the pay scale compared to those of the regional jets used by many airlines.

    As for maintenance, many airlines cut corners and outsource maintenance to 3rd world providers. The US charter fleet is well maintained, many by the mfg (such as Embraer in Florida).

    #1652189

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    I think the above postings make a really critical point. There is a world of difference in the safety records of “private” planes. Aircraft maintained and operated by commercial private flight operators or corporate fleets have an incredibly high safety record, in many cases equivalent to commercial scheduled airlines. Aircraft owned/operated by individuals or by small businesses that rely on their inhouse pilots and maintenance staff have a considerably less stellar safety record in comparison. The author of the original post really didn’t provide much information to know which end of the spectrum he fits in. If he owns his own small plane that is maintained by a local flight services operator and only flies periodically, I can understand why some might be a bit hesitant.

    #1652195

    akuperma
    Participant

    A professional pilot (meaning someone whose full time career is flying) is not a “private pilot” – even if he or she works for other than a major carrier. Someone who flies his own plane when he needs to travel, but is not a professional pilot is “private”.

    #1652221

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @akuperma
    The reason I asked is that I know a number of people/businesses who employ a private chauffeur for their vehicle(s). These have a full time career driving but don’t hold a public service or hack license.
    They are privately employed professionals. Same with boat captains and plane pilots.

    I think a better term for one who only flies his/her own plane might be a recreational pilot (even if he/she flies on business).

    #1652227

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    akuperma,

    You’re going to argue the definition of private with a lawyer? 😂

    #1652275

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @Avram
    Tomorrow I’ll be flying private, with professional pilots to take Mrs. CTL to Florida. She had more surgery last Friday and its time for her to recuperate in warmer weather. I’m flying right back as year end is busy at the office.
    I cannot spare the time it would take to fly r/t commercial with holiday period delays and crowds, and she needs the comfort.

    #1652280

    Joseph
    Participant

    Why are you assuming that akuperman isn’t a lawyer?

    #1652419

    Cessna172
    Participant

    akuperma
    Private pilots may not have as much experience as airline pilots, but that’s like comparing a regular person who drives to a bus driver. The bus driver obviously has way more experience as he is driving for a large part of the day almost every day. but everyone will go in a car even with a relatively new driver. And that’s without the fact that most new drivers only learn how to parallel park and make k- turns. just to pass a 5 minute road test ( at least in NY). Pilots go through intense training and actually simulate different types of emergencies (stalls, engine failure, engine fire etc.) and train to fly, not just to pass the test, which takes around 3 hours.

    As for any mechanical failure in flight, most if not all can be dealt with safely. The only reason the plane will crash is if the pilot panics. That’s why we train over and over for emergencies until it becomes muscle memory.

    CTLAWYER
    I am rated to fly an airplane single engine land.
    I have flown a piper Cherokee, Cessna 152 and currently fly a Cessna 172.
    Small planes are actually safer than larger planes in the event of an emergency, because they can land safely almost anywhere, including beaches, water, fields, highways and even trees. Landing areas for large planes are extremely limited to airports and water, and water landings don’t usually end well. The only time I can thing of where it did end well was the “miracle on the Hudson”.

    More than one engine does not always mean safer. If the engine fails on a single engine plane, you can easily maintain a glide to a safe landing. If one engine fails on a multi- engine plane, it requires extreme effort to maintain control. Many times it becomes impossible to maintain altitude.

    Private pilot refers to a pilot without a commercial license, regardless of amount of experience.
    Pilot who fly private jets, are commercial pilots who fly business jets. Many of them are just trying to gain enough hours to get an airline license and then move on to an airline.

    #1652438

    Cessna172
    Participant

    I didn’t say I own a plane rather I am a licensed pilot

    #1652442

    Cessna172
    Participant

    .

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  YW Moderator-100.
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  Cessna172.
    #1652444

    Cessna172
    Participant

    ..

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  YW Moderator-100.
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  Cessna172.
    #1652735

    The little I know
    Participant

    Perhaps we are aware that Hashem created us to walk upon the earth with our feet. being enclosed in a metal tube miles above the surface of the earth, especially moving at these incredible speeds, is simply abnormal. Of course, we get to learn to accept it, but that is acquired knowledge, not innate experience.

    #1652755

    Gales
    Participant

    I think it all started with Icarus.
    Since then people are nervous when they fly.
    🙂

    #1652784

    Cessna172
    Participant

    The little I know
    Perhaps we are aware that Hashem created us to walk upon the earth with our feet.

    Driving in a car is not walking upon the earth either.
    Hashem also created physics. If a plane is flying, it doesn’t just fall out of the sky. Usually accidents are not because of the plane at all. In fact, around 75% of accidents every year are caused by pilot error. Even the accidents that are caused by something out of the pilots control, if the pilot remains calm, the flight will usually end safely.
    How many car accidents are the drivers fault?
    In a plane, if you are a safe pilot, the chances of crashing are really small.
    In car, a person can be the safest driver on the road, but if there is one drunk driver next to him, the chances of getting involved in a fatal accident c”v are pretty high.

    #1652786

    LOTR92
    Participant

    Icarus didn’t have a valid pilot’s license. Chatzer strauss said he has a license.

    #1652805

    Joseph
    Participant

    As akuperman correctly pointed out, private planes have a much worse safety record than commercial airlines.

    That’s the answer in a nutshell.

    #1652906

    Cessna172
    Participant

    Private planes may not have as good of a safety record as commercial airlines, but they are still way safer than cars. Yet people do not get nervous when they drive but do get nervous when they fly.

    #1653006

    Joseph
    Participant

    No, the comparative risk of a fatality — per mile taken or per trip taken (defining a trip as a motor vehicle ride versus a private plane ride) — is greater on a private plane trip than on a motor vehicle ride.

    We’re not counting every fender bender or even every time someone hurt themselves on a short stop, even if they went to the hospital for a safety precaution, We’re speaking specifically and only of fatalities.

    #1653051

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    I also wonder about the statistic. I seem to recall it is based on miles travelled, as opposed to number of trips or time spent travelling.

    People will take a car for a very short trip, the shortest flights, even in a single engine plane has got to be way more than the shortest car trip. And I would imagine that you could hardly compare the average car trip to the average flight. How do the average number of fatalities per trip compare between flying and driving a car (take out motorcycles).

    Same would go for the amount of time travelling, How do the statistics compare when you use fatalities per hour travelled?

    I am just wondering.

    #1653060

    MTG
    Participant

    Honestly I’m terrified of flying whether It’s a big plane or a small one. But I think the reason your friends don’t want to fly with you is because its easier to put your life in a “professionals” hand then your friends. Even if he does have a license.

    #1653079

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    “I have a private pilots license, and many of my friends are scared to fly with me. Does anyone have a valid reason for this ridiculous behavior?!?!”

    We have never seen you fly or drive or do anything else for that matter to know why your friends would not want to fly with you.

    Perhaps some introspection may be necessary.

    #1653092

    LTIMB
    Participant

    although I just skimmed the thread. …..
    I think I saw someone mention an airplane fenderbender… haha! imagine that

    #1653102

    LTIMB
    Participant

    nishtdayngesheft, it may not be Pilots flying abilities, maybe just his slightly skewed personality
    # Can the moderator please censor this , , replacing everything but “pilot” and “skewed personality” with stars….(Just to see if it works)

    Did it work?

    #1653103

    Cessna172
    Participant

    nishtdayngesheft
    Maybe they never saw me fly, but an FAA examiner saw me fly. He saw how I take off, fly, land, recover from stalls, react to engine failure, recover from vertigo, and handle extremely busy New York area airspace, just to name a few things on the test. And he gave me my license, which means the FAA, which is part of the government, thinks I am a safe pilot. The examiner is also an NTSB accident investigator.

    #1653118

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    But your friends know you in ways that the examiner doesn’t and therefore they may have reasons they do not want to fly with you, even if you did pass the exam.

    And saying emphasizing that the FAA is part of the government hardly bolsters its reputation.

    #1653131

    Joseph
    Participant

    chatzer strauss: Every private plane crash was piloted by someone who an FAA examiner saw fly and was issued a pilots license, indicating FAA/government belief he (may he RIP) was a safe pilot and qualified to fly.

    #1653235

    Cessna172
    Participant

    I tried posting a link to a website that compares the statistics for aviation and car accidents, but it didn’t go through. On that website they say most of the aviation accidents could easily have been avoided. Many times pilots take off into bad weather after everyone warned them not to. Most accidents are cases like that. The pilots do things that will obviously not work.

    Joseph
    Every car is driven by someone who a DMV examiner saw drive and was issued a drivers license. I don’t know about other states, but in NY everyone knows the road test is a joke. It usually takes around 5 minutes and pass/fail is based on the examiners mood. Yet people get in cars with random people all the time.
    The pilot “road” test, called a checkride, is a lot more official. It can take around 3 hours and is actually based on whether the applicant is a safe pilot or not. These same FAA examiners test the airline pilots too, yet everyone will fly with an airline, even if they don’t know who the pilots are. They trust that they were trained properly.
    When it comes to general aviation, for some reason people don’t have that trust. All airline pilots start off flying small planes. Once they move on to bigger planes, they suddenly receive this unexplained trust.
    And airline pilots get the airline license with the same small planes that I fly. Even when it comes to learning how to fly the plane they will fly (747, a380…) they only learn how to fly on a simulator. Their first time actually flying the airplane is on the job with passengers. It is the captains job to train him in.

    Which would you rather fly with.
    A licensed pilot who flies small planes who only learned in a real plane, or a pilot who is flying a plane for the very first time, who only trained on a very realistic computer game?

    #1653280

    Cessna172
    Participant

    There is a famous joke in the pilot world. It happens to be true also.

    What is the most dangerous part of flying?

    I’ll answer tomorrow, I want to see if anyone can get the answer.

    #1653301

    GRATEFULBLAC
    Participant

    Perhaps someone can help me.
    I have high blood pressure and is controlled by medication. 3 years ago I was due to fly on a routine international trip that I had taken many times before. The day before the trip I had a 24 blood pressure monitor fitted for the day. It recorded my pressure at 230/150 with medication.
    My Doctor advised me that it may be a life threatening risk to fly the next day as my pressure could go higher.
    As soon as I cancelled my blood pressure went back to normal. I haven’t flown since.
    Can anyone advise me what to do to stop my blood pressure rising before flying.

    #1653316

    Ctrl Alt Del
    Participant

    For me, I think my unease with flying as opposed to driving is the fact that if something catastrophic happens in a car, it’s pretty much over and done with relatively quickly. With unconsciousness and or worse happening immediately. Something catastrophic happens in the air…..well, you now have 7000ft of falling and screaming to think about what’s about what happens next…. (OMG…just a joke!!)

    But yes, its completely irrational. Remember:

    Keep Calm
    And…
    V1……Rotate….

    PS: Chatzer, ever talk to Kennedy Steve?

    #1653324

    NOYB
    Participant

    Statistics, cars versus planes, none of this matters. No one is sitting down with a bunch of studies and making an educated choice to be afraid of small planes. People see news stories about crashes, look at a tiny little plane that is only powered by a propeller, and decide that flying around in this thing is not something they feel safe doing.

    #1653339

    Are you all sitting in one big chair?

    #1653347

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    OP, I would rather fly with someone who thinks flying is dangerous than with someone who thinks flying is safe.

    #1653438

    Cessna172
    Participant

    RebYidd
    Me too.
    Pilots are taught to act as if every second will be the last one with a spinning propeller. The entire flight I am constantly looking around to find a safe place to land if the engine quits. I play out in my mind different scenarios and how I would react to them (I have the emergency checklists memorized.) . I act as if every flight is a checkride, and the examiner will pull the throttle any second of the flight. If anything does happen c”v, I will be expecting it and will not panic. When pilots have this mindset, you hear the stories of planes landing on highways, beaches, even trees, safely.
    Even if there are no desirable places to land, and a crash is inevitable, pilots are taught to “fly the airplane into the crash”. If for example, the plane is heading for trees, and is too low to land on them, fly the plane in between 2 trees, the wings will take the damage, and the fuselage, with everyone on board will be fine.

    Then there are the pilots who think it can never happen to them. That those stories only happen to other people. If something c”v happens they panic and freeze up. Then you hear the stories of planes crashing into the water, forests… and usually ends with fatalities.

    NYOB
    You may be right, but I wonder if anything would be different if there would be news stories on every single car crash, and would say the reasons behind the crash. Would people think twice before getting in cars?

    #1653439

    MTG
    Participant

    @rebyidd23 Why? If you are flying with someone who thinks its dangerous they are more likely to make a mistake. Someone who thinks its safe is more likely to not do something stupid under pressure.

    #1653440

    Cessna172
    Participant

    What is the most dangerous part of flying?
    No one wants to try to give an answer?

    #1653443

    tgsm
    Participant

    The reason people get nervous when they fly is because they have this phobia that a) they will not reach their destination in 1 piece or b) they will not reach their intended destination at all, and people have this phobia that the plane will fall out of the sky, e.g. flight MH370/

    #1653458

    LOTR92
    Participant

    the most dangerous part of flying is driving to the airport

    #1653456

    Cessna172
    Participant

    @Ctrl Alt Del
    You forgot v2

    #1653467

    Cessna172
    Participant

    LOTR92
    Correct!!
    Are you a pilot?

    #1653466

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @Chatzer
    “Which would you rather fly with.
    A licensed pilot who flies small planes who only learned in a real plane, or a pilot who is flying a plane for the very first time, who only trained on a very realistic computer game?”

    Your scenario is false…………………….
    The licensed pilot who flies the small plane is likely the only pilot (unlike the TWO pilots on the Citation X I flew back and forth to Boca Raton Airport yesterday).

    The licensed pilot flying the first time with passengers in that B787 is not in the captain’s seat. In the captain’s seat doing the training is a licensed pilot with many thousands of hours in large commercial jets. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather fly with that 55 year old captain with 20,000+ hours commercial jet experience and 10 years military flying than someone with your limited hours.

    #1653509

    Ctrl Alt Del
    Participant

    @Chatzer

    Does anyone ever really announce V2 speeds even when its nogeah…….?

    #1653531

    Joseph
    Participant

    Flying on a private aircraft has a greater fatality rate than driving.

    #1653548

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    A pilot who is aware of the risks is far more cautious than one who denies that there is a risk.

    #1653938

    Cessna172
    Participant

    @ctlawyer
    There have been many fatal airline crashes that were caused by miscommunication between the captain and first officer, or unnecessary conversation. So it can actually be safer with just one pilot.
    Also, there are plenty of accidents that occur during lessons, so it may not be the safest to have a newbie learning how to land for real (one of the only things the simulator cant get right are the landings) up front.

    @Ctrl Alt Del
    I never flew a jet yet, so I don’t know what goes on in the cockpit. If its in the procedures they probably do.

    #1654012

    Joseph
    Participant

    The safest solution is to simply fly commercial and forget about general/private aviation.

    #1654020

    2scents
    Participant

    Cessna,

    Based on your posts it seems that you are a relatively new pilot, it also seems that you have a very limited or basic knowledge of the aviation industry.

    I do not believe that your limited flying experience matches with the commercial co-pilot who not only already has the minimum flying hours but also underwent the training and testing to let them be in this seat.

    They also have an experienced pilot with them.

    The industry standards are probably way better than those of your recreational requirements, which is why it is easy to understand why people might not feel that comfortable placing their lives in your hands.

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