Features

June 1999 Issue

Safety in Numbers?

Accident statistics may mislead you on how much risk you’re really assuming

Pilots love to scoff at the aerophobes who express fear at the prospect of light plane flying.

“The most dangerous thing about flying is the drive to the airport,” might be the amiable retort.

Some sayings persist because the truth they carry is evident. Others endure because no one has seriously challenged their worth.

Dr. Gerald Fairbairn, professor of aviation at Daniel Webster College and a long-time flight instructor, challenges the notion that light plane flying is even remotely as safe as driving. In so doing, he suggests a look beneath the surface of aviation safety. Look at what constitutes risk, why it is there, and how it can be mitigated.

Fairbairn is not decisively...

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