December 2013 Issue

Embracing Risk

If we want to become old pilots, we sometimes have to be bold ones, too.

It’s often difficult to compare the risks imposed by different activities, but it’s reasonable to state flying a certified single-engine airplane for an hour on a severe-clear day isn’t as risky as spending that same time performing low-level aerobatics in an Experimental airplane. At the same time, and according to John King of King Schools, “you’re more likely to have a fatality in a GA airplane than in a car” when traveling the same distance. If the added risk exposure we get from flying didn’t provide some benefit—more efficient transportation, for example, or pure enjoyment—we might not do it at all. But the simple enjoyment of boring holes in the sky and other benefits outweighs that risk for many of us.

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