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Thread: Is flying Microlights safe?

  1. #11
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    Is flying Microlights safe?

    Hello Paul and others,
    The question 'is our flying safe', sometimes sounds like we should ask ourselves if it's safe, and only do it if it is.
    Whatever you do you are eventually going to die... that is life's only certainty.
    I am in the Woody Allan camp, as I think Paul would be too: I am not afraid to die... I just don't want to be around when it happens!
    Flying carries a considerable risk.
    Even staying at home in front of the TV has its risks.
    A week ago I was at Farnborough looking at the reconstructed fuselage of the B747 that was blown out of the sky and made a huge hole beside the village of Locherby; you might have decided flying your trike was too dangerous, and stayed at home to watch the football, and that could have landed on your house!
    A silly parallel perhaps, but the bottom line is that there are no guarantees in life... except the grave!
    Mark Phillips..............

  2. #12
    not real name 500 Club
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    Is flying Microlights safe?

    People have always done sport and activities that are less forgiving of mistakes, flying is one of them.

  3. #13
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    Is flying Microlights safe?

    Martin your comments are absolutely spot on.I am on the verge of obtaining my licence which has taken me 50hrs so far. I have been through every single emotion in the book from dry mouth and sheer terror to total exhiliration and, not matter how my flight has been it always, always leaves me with a sense of achievement. Someone once said "the only thing to fear is fear itself" I beleive that fear is healthy and its what keeps you alive. How it is controlled and converted into positive action dicates whether we enjoy what we are all doing or not. :scool:

    PS, My licence will be issued here in Ghana, West Africa. Will it be valid in the UK and if not what will it take to convert. I am currenty flying an Xair F fitted with a Rotax 912.

  4. #14
    Diamond geezer Banned500 Club
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    Is flying Microlights safe?

    Eric wrote:

    PS, My licence will be issued here in Ghana, West Africa. Will it be valid in the UK and if not what will it take to convert. I am currenty flying an Xair F fitted with a Rotax 912.
    As far as I know that depends, is your instructor CAA approved? is your examiner CAA approved and have you been trained to the BMAA syllabus. If that is the case as in some of the european schools then you will have a British NPPL and no problems. I don't belive that it has to be a european country as pilots trained in Malta before they joined the EU gained a British licence and of course there is a training school in the Gambia. Otherwise all I can find that is applicable is this quote from the NPPL website

    Non-UK licences
    The holder of any licence issued by an ICAO Contracting State who wishes to obtain a NPPL (Microlight)
    should write to the British Microlight Aircraft Association for advice on the specific requirements for licence
    conversion. These requirements will be determined by the holder’s current experience and will be assessed
    individually. The applicant must also have passed the Microlight theoretical examinations in Aviation Law,
    Flight Rules and Procedures and Human Performance and Limitations prior to taking the NPPL (Microlight)
    GST


    In other words, as I said, it all depends. The man who is most likely to be able to advise you is Roy Hart at the BMAA an e-mail to him is probably your best way forwards.

    Ginge

  5. #15
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    Is flying Microlights safe?

    Hello all,

    To lighten the tone slightly, a friend of mine went to see his doctor in order to get his medical form signed. When he told his doctor it was for flying a microlight the doctor said "Isn't flying microlights dangerous?", to which my friend replied "Flying them isn't, crashing them is". The doctor signed the form without further comment. True story!

    Best regards,

    Bob Hood.

  6. #16
    not real name 500 Club
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    Is flying Microlights safe?

    It's the same as falling from a great height isn't fatal, but the sudden stop at the bottom can be ;-)
    Contrary to popular belief speed doesn't kill, only the cessation of it will ;-)
    Just thought you'd like to know.

  7. #17

    Is flying Microlights safe?

    To fly or not to fly? I’m an active modeller (chicken) cogitating whether to learn to fly the ones-you-get-into, BTW that includes hang gliders, sailplanes, ultralights, Cessnas, R22s. Total about 20 hours between ‘em all.

    From what I read and hear, sports pilots, as distinct from airline types, spend a fair amount of mental effort justifying that what they do is safe, or can be made safe (“risk reduction”) which it is not, as long as you accept the historic fatality rate is too high.

    Try this as a working definition:
    • Driving=acceptable risk (which must nonetheless be carefully managed)
    • Motorcycling= unacceptable risk (stated as true by some, even if carefully managed)

    For if what you do is 30 times more risky than driving, and 8 times more than motorcycling, you are in fact way off the scale of normality.

    This argument could be modified to include elimination of most attitudes such as illegalism, distraction, boredom, arrogance, bravado, carelessness, distraction, indiscipline, boredom, fatalism, that underlie the human factors stated to be the cause of 85% of (fatal) air accidents. Eliminate? Ah yes, you’re a superman (superior type of human being), and therefore trainable to such a high degree you function at some level like an automaton.

    So here’s my proposal: in order to make me a safe pilot, I first prove to the instructor I’m a superman. Kind of wrecks the economics? Of course these human traits are never completely eliminated even from the best trained. Witness high time professionals getting it wrong and getting killed. Can even happen to superman. As Dirty Harry said: “A man’s got to know his limitations”. The grave yards are full of the ignorant who were feeling lucky at some level.

    As of now, I consider the only honest justification is death-wish masquerading as thrill seeking. Either you think it’s worth the cost and risk, or you back away and sadly fly models: “if you crash you don’t die”.

    So why the fock do I want to learn to fly?

  8. #18
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    Is flying Microlights safe?

    nhoj wrote:
    ...
    So why the fock do I want to learn to fly?

    First: language please, there are ladies present.

    Second: The answer to your question is... because the bug's bitten and cold logic no longer applies. :smhair:

    Joan
    :smurf:

  9. #19
    not real name 500 Club
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    Is flying Microlights safe?

    Where do you get 30x more than driving and 8x more than m/cycling?
    Probably from a anti-flyer!
    It's a well known fact that you are in more danger of an accident driving to an airfield than you are in the air.
    Anything that involves a certain amount of risk generates excitement, even in a car, although having driven 100,000's of miles the excitement has worn off a little.
    Having flown for only 200 hrs there is still the excitement of flying, and will remain so for many more.
    Safety in flying is largely up to the individual, there are, thankfully few mid air collisions, where as in driving you can be driving along minding your own business when some idiot side swipes you, runs into your rear or is on the wrong side of the road on a bend, things that you can have nothing to do with but nevertheless can be fatal.
    If you are overly worried about air safety and yet drive, maybe you should stick to that ;-)

  10. #20

    Is flying Microlights safe?

    Biggest question as I see it concerns how reliable are we as human beings. If I say I never have a scary slip-up doing dangerous things like driving, working on mains electricity would you believe me?

    http://philip.greenspun.com/flying/safety gives GA roughly 20 times more dangerous per hour than driving. Sorry I cannot dig up the 30 times figure, but I do see 10 – 20 in a few places.

    At 13.9 fatalities per million hours, flying 1246 hours is what your "Ace of Spades" odds (1 in 52) are. Other times I have seen higher rates per million and that may explain the higher ratio.

    Using basic probability theory and raw data, here is an extract from an excel file I did:
    General Aviation 15.58 1000000 0.0000156 0.9999844 0.9807744 0.019225616 52.0

    It’s very easy to hang up on precise numbers, maybe it’s better to focus on whether the relative risk exceeds some other personal of objective minimum, which is how I phrased it in the first post.

    Gamblers have an unflattering name for those who bet more in hope than in accordance with calculated odds.

    How you justify your decisions in relation to other risks/rewards you may or may not wish to accept is the question I am trying to clarify to myself. If BMAA have 3-4000 members and lose 2/year in crashes, are they good odds? 34 years of membership gives your “Ace of Spades" odds (1 in 52). I don’t actually know annual flying hours, but another way to put it is 1/88 over 20 years.

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