Safe in the Skies

November 6, 2022 by  
Filed under blog

Anybody that knows me knows that I love to travel. I’ve been to 94 countries, and I still hope to go to all 195 countries on this planet, if I live long enough! That leaves me only 101 more counties to visit. I don’t need to worry about going to Russia or Ukraine right now since I’ve already visited them. Plus, I love to visit new places since it excites my mind and totally energizes me.

One of the other reasons I love to travel is that I love to fly. It’s so amazing to me that there are so many people that are very, very afraid to fly and try to completely avoid it. I can somewhat understand that since any time a plane crashes and people perish, it frightens many of us.

I recently experienced that fear myself as my wife and I flew back from Washington state where we attended my wife’s mother’s funeral. About an hour into our flight, we hit a huge windstorm that threw the plan around big time. It went up and down and even on its side. I can’t say I wasn’t worried. That huge windstorm threw that plane around so much that I thought it might rip a wing off or at least break a few windows.

The captain finally announced that we needed to turn around and head north to get out of the storm. We ended up landing in Idaho falls, about 200 miles north of Salt Lake City, Utah, our destination. We stayed on the airplane there for over an hour, but then took off again for Salt Lake and landed safely. 

Upon leaving, the head flight attendant told us she’d been flying for over 18 years and had never experienced a windstorm that powerful. She confessed that she was scared to death that we would crash. That was both surprising and comforting because it showed how unusual our experience was.

I have over one million miles on Delta airlines and, yes, I still love the idea of flying. One reason I keep flying with little thought or fear is that the statistics on airline safety are incredible and you get to your destination so much faster than driving, which is much more dangerous. Your odds of dying in a car crash are 1 in 114 as a driver and 1 in 654 as a passenger, while the chances of meeting your end in a plane crash are 1 in 9821.

I should also note that those plane statistics include small planes which, compared to commercial flights, have a high accident and crash rate. Even so, they are still much safer than driving a car. There are only 2 small plane accidents a week while there are over 100,000 car accidents a week. The biggest cause of small plane crashes, though, is that they run out of fuel. I saw that firsthand.  

Back when I owned my own small plane, with my good friend as was my pilot, we were flying back from Florida where I had done a real estate seminar. When we were close to Texas, I looked out my window and saw that one of the 2 propellers had totally stopped. Wow, did that scare me! We quickly found a small airport and landed safely. It turned out that the maintenance guy in Florida had not screwed the gas cap on tight enough. Ugh!

You never hear of those kinds of things happening on commercial flights, though. The safety of each plane is taken super seriously. So, hey, if you are one of those who fears flying, just think about the statistics and how safe you will be, especially if your fear of flying is holding you back from seeing the world and all the great things that can really elevate your mind and spirit.


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