Poll: Do You Feel Safe In The Air?

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. I feel safe as long as I’m flying. In 62 years and over 30,000 hours, I’ve had my share of “excitements”–but always felt that my destiny was in my own hands. I’ve never had a chargeable accident or violation. I feel far safer in the air than I do driving, as I have control in the air–in driving, there are far too many variables.

    As PICs, we have the capacity to say “NO!”–whether it is weather, aircraft operation, or ATC “instructions.” As a driver, by comparison, we don’t always have those options–we are far more likely to encounter actions by others beyond our control. THINK about it–I’m far more concerned driving down an icy Minnesota road in winter, meeting oncoming traffic driven by people that perhaps should NOT be driving–and missing oncoming vehicles by INCHES!

    If weather prevents me from flying, I likely won’t DRIVE, either!

  2. I asked OpenAI.com what’s safer?
    “Statistically speaking, air travel tends to have a lower accident rate compared to road transportation.”

    I know more pilots that have wrecked ground vehicles then aircraft. Especially motorcycles.

  3. I have always told my wife I was more at risk going to and from the Airport than flying and sure enough, I got rear end totaled in traffic in April. Still not back 100%. Far more dangerous on the road than in our scary little airplanes. She still doesn’t want to fly with me cause it only has one “go motor”……. So I bought a twin.

  4. Jim Hanson nailed it. Compared to him I am a relatively new pilot, with only about 13,000 hours and 54 years in my logbooks.

    About 20 years ago I used to commute to work in my plane every day. One day a co-worker asked me, “Aren’t you afraid, flying every day?” I answered, “Certainly I am. I have to drive to and from the airport.”

  5. I agree with most pilots that my trip to and from the airport is the scary part. Every time I hear about some company making a ” Flying Car ” I worry about all the idiot’s that I left on the ground coming up and ruining my flight. Then I see the price on the flying car and I realize that it will only be Rich Idiot’s.