Pilots' Group Chimes In

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Cirrus pilots also heard from the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association on the same topic and President Mike Radomsky was a little more candid in his message (.DOC file). "It is tempting, but very dangerous, to believe that because the airplane is capable of flying in challenging conditions, the pilot can take it there," he wrote. "No technology can replace training, skill, proficiency and judgment." He also noted that, statistically speaking, COPA members appear to be much less likely to be in an accident. "The fact is that over 87% of the [Cirrus] pilots of the fatal accidents to date were among the 30% or so of pilots who do not belong to COPA," he wrote. Of course, paying the $50 membership fee doesn't grant increased immunity from accidents, he noted. He theorizes that those who join the group, take part in the online chats and read the magazine are more likely to take part in the safety-related activities it sponsors. Radomsky says the recent spate of accidents has made him reassess his flying. "I have redoubled my resolve to fly conservatively and make decisions that I know are good ones," he wrote.