Why does everyone tell my wife about crashes?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Hang 4, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm a bit over 20 hours in to my PP training and almost every single one of my wife's acquaintances has felt compelled to share every relative/friend/celebrity story of crashing their plane. Even one who is a pilot went through a scary story. My wife is cool with me flying and willing to fly with me once I have plenty of hours and is supportive of getting a plane as well :)

    I've been a Hang Glider Pilot for 40 years and I really expected the "Is your life insurance paid up?" BS to be less with GA aviation.

    Does this happen to everyone?
     
  2. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    It can. I also ride motorcycles, so I get to hear everyones "Uncle Fred" stories about how he died/lost a limb/was paralyzed, etc. Same can happen for GA.

    FWIW, I'm an H2 and busted my arm pretty badly on a botched landing, but I've yet to hurt myself flying GA aircraft. I think GA is probably safer than HG.
     
  3. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    To some extent ... direct family members are pressing their ideals in hopes you get derailed by the spousal unit. My wife supported learning to fly and actually talked me into it (I initially didn't have the bug) and an old high school buddy took me out a few times in a Luscombe. Amazing, as she personally only likes the local area flights and wants a near 100% guarantee of no turbulence:confused::eek: She often tells her friends that the small plane landings are WAY SOFTER than SWA;)
     
  4. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    It seems like every day someone dies on a Nebraska road in motor vehicle accident, do they talk about car accidents the same? I've personally known 2 classmates killed in car accidents and two parents of one classmate critically injured when their motorcycle hit a deer.

    Some of those folks come off as jealous to me.
     
  5. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My Mom was sure every plane that made the news was me.

    We should have a pre-made "It wasn't me. I'm fine!" text.
     
  6. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yea, I used to hear it a lot more than I do now. Just understand that 90% of what the public tells you about GA isn’t based upon any first hand experience, but rather what they hear from the media, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Uncle was killed in a King Air accident in ‘91, solely due to an overconfident ‘nose in the air’ pilot. Ever since, the family hasn’t been too keen on Aviation, but it’s improved since I began to fly.

    The majority of potential factors involved in most accidents can be mitigated by a competent, safe-minded pilot, so I tend to believe that GA is rather safe. The more you fly, the more friends and family will get used to it. Live your life and don’t worry about the non-informed public’s opinion. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  7. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    Same thing happens with my wife too. I always tell her that the NTSB report tends to reveal facts about the accident that family members/the media likely did not know about. This does little to assuage her, though.

    Constantly getting hounded about life insurance too.
     
  8. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm comfortable the most dangerous thing in the plane is me.. and I'll mitigate that risk with a lot of training and conservative decision making on fly/no fly . I just get tired of explaining how JFK Jr. really had poor judgement and planes aren't falling out of the sky everyday. My drive to the airport has an electronic sign of all the automotive fatalities in Georgia this year, believe it's over 1000 - or ~ 3 - 4 per day. I just hate that my wife has to put up with this.. she's a trooper.
     
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  9. CGChief

    CGChief Pre-Flight

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    My wife gets the same thing. What I find most bizarre is that my Mother is 100% behind me flying, much more than she liked my motorcycles.
     
  10. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    We have a pilot at our airport who is probably 72 and I'm assuming his wife is similar in age. One day they were getting ready to leave and I asked if he'd heard about the plane crash off of the end of our runway. He got a really angry look on his face, pointed at his wife, then put his finger to his lips to shush me. I thought it was funny. He's been flying most of his life, including as a test pilot in the Air Force. I guess he's convinced his wife it's safe!
     
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  11. CJ Rader

    CJ Rader Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My wife's brother-in-law told her it was cool that I was learning to fly, but not to go flying with me so she wouldn't die too. LOL. I see how I rate with the in-laws. In any case, she has no reservations about flying with me. People just don't stop to think you're in far greater danger driving to the grocery store. There's not even a tenth of the amount of education required to drive a car, and a not insignificant number of fools driving around with expired licenses and no insurance. I'll take my chances in the air, thank you.
     
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  12. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    I've got you beat. When there is an incident at one of the airports near me my EX-WIFE calls to see if it was me. Not sure how to interpret it, but I usually tell her I'm sorry to disappoint her. ;)
     
  13. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No wife of GF (I probably wouldn't be doing this if I had one :D) but I had the same issue with my mother. Seems everyone she knew at work had a plane crash story once she started mentioning to people that I am getting my license. If she somehow finds out I am flying that day she still wants me to let her know that it went alright afterwards.

    If anyone brings it up around your wife, hit them back with this: "Put it another way: Americans have a 1 in 114 chance of dying in a car crash, according to the National Safety Council. The odds of dying in air and space transport incidents, which include private flights and air taxis, are 1 in 9,821. That’s almost three times better chances than you meeting your fate by choking on food."

    http://fortune.com/2017/07/20/are-airplanes-safer-than-cars/?scrlybrkr=a0af4c74
     
  14. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Yes. Americans have boundary issues.
     
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  15. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I never had any problem, but most of my friends were probably talking behind my back....Wonder how soon he will crash one..???

    Most of my friends still won't ride in a car with me because of the way I drove during my racing days.

    The only (non race) car accidents I have been in, 4 in all, I was sitting still and got hit by someone else.!!!
     
  16. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    Are you sure she isn't still carrying life insurance on you? :rolleyes:
     
  17. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Happens daily on the highways in this country, and probably every state. It's extremely rare in the air, just 2 or 3 times per year . . . .
     
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  18. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    ;);)
    Years ago my wife hired a talented tilesetter to do some work on an extensive period restoration we were doing. First she told me he offered a "lifetime guarantee" on his work. Then she mentioned he was a hang glider pilot. :eek:

    Seriously, I wouldn't have thought you would be as subject to this as the rest of us who haven't indulged in that pastime. But you are far from alone in that experience as a GA pilot. We live in a risk-adverse, "airbag world" now. I just tell people that flying is one of those things that is comparatively unforgiving of inattention, errors and mistakes - by everybody involved in it. And then I tell them that's one of the reasons I like to fly, which usually causes them to change the subject. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  19. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    I've only ever seen it on facebook.
    Everyone making sure their pilot friend is ok.

    My wife learns about every GA crash from me.
    And I am quick to explain why that can never happen to us.
     
  20. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    My wife and I talk about GA incidents/accidents. She respects my knowledge and how I approach each flight as a GA pilot. Education is the best tool..
     
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  21. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route

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    When people tell my bride how dangerous flying is she will agree and say; yes, it’s deadly driving to the airport, the flights are great.
     
  22. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    All people know about airplanes are crashes. Of course, the flip side that is once you have your credentials (i.e. you pilot's certificate) you'll be the expert on crashes.
     
  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had the (mis)fortune of showing up at my Boston-area family reunion in my own plane a few weeks after JFK Jr. went in. I spent the entire weekend answering questions about that.
     
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  24. MadseasoN

    MadseasoN Line Up and Wait

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    It just goes to show how ignorant people are with aviation. Most of them think getting a PPL is like getting a driver license. Read a little book on the way to the DMV then take a common sense test. Yay! You're a pilot.

    A friend of mine is borderline genius. Even he didn't expect flight training to be more than ~5 hours.
     
  25. MadseasoN

    MadseasoN Line Up and Wait

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    Same here.

    My favorites:
    Them: "I'll fly with you if you're really careful."
    Me: "Uh, my life is not more valuable just because you're in the plane."

    Them: "Heard you got your PPL. Well I'm not going, I'd never fly in a small plane."
    Me: "I didn't invite you."

    Them: "I might go with you but let me get some life insurance first."
    Me: "You're driving around without life insurance?"
     
  26. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've actually had the opposite experience. When people ask and I tell them the requirement is 40 hours for your PPL and you are able to carry passengers, they are usually surprised. I also think most of those people don't understand how much you can learn in 40 hours of solo/dual and how costly it is. I've had people say man I work 40 hours in a week, how are you getting your pilots license in that amount of time.
     
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  27. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    It’s actually kinda true. And it also shows how little most folks accomplish in a typical 40 hour work week. :)
     
  28. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Whatever research the article you linked to references doesn't really apply to the flying we do. Commercial aviation is safer than driving; single-pilot light GA flying that most of us do is statistically more dangerous than driving. How much more dangerous depends on how you define exposure, but my point is for us not to kid ourselves about the relative risks. The good news is there's a lot more risk we can control in the cockpit than on the highways.
     
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  29. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Same here, some family and a friends grandparents thought 40 hours was to small a number. Even when I told them how much it costs and that it costs many times more an hour then they even earn in that time they still seemed unconvinced...
     
  30. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    Yea, well those '40' are flight hours. They don't count all of the reading and study. I read and studied so much, I forgot what I used to think about for a year or so, haha.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  31. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Some of my friends showed great interest in flying when I was a student. A lot of them bugged me often saying...get it done now, what's taking so long...etc

    So far only a handful have accepted my invitation to go somewhere. They seem to always have headache, call stones, stuff at home... I have stopped inviting

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  32. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    My wife once told Jeff Skiles, while I was standing there, that she thinks I'm a great pilot (aw, shucks) and has absolute faith in my abilities; it's the hardware that she doubts. I take that faith seriously.

    Bless her!
     
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  33. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Maybe she called to make you were occupied at the airport while she had a friend over. BOOM!
     
  34. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    You could have told them it was HRC eliminating future competition.
     
  35. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sometimes you the windshield
    Sometimes you the bug
     
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  36. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    Yes.

    And after you’ve flown a few years, you might be the one telling the crash stories. Because you’ll know people who crashed. And died.

    That is my experience, sad to say.
     
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  37. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well ,if you get inquiries,every time a light plane has an incident,it shows you how many people are worried about you.
     
  38. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route

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    Yeah. You can put the statistics in your favor with some very simple things. Check the gas before you go. Preflight. Stay out of bad weather. Take those causes out and recrunch the numbers.
     
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  39. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    That works on the driving side too, although to a lesser degree. Don't drive impaired, and avoid times when impaired drivers tend to drive. Wear your seat belt, etc.

    If improving aviation safety was as simple as doing the things you've mentioned above, why haven't we as a community already done that by now? <-- rhetorical question.
     
  40. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route

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    Yeah. Saying flying is as safe as driving by comparing reckless pilots to safe drivers doesn't pass the logic check.