Ask The Captain: Why Flying Is The Safest Way To Travel
Why is flying the safest way to travel? submitted by reader Jamel, Eatontown, N.J. Flying has come a long way from being a daredevil event to having the lowest fatality per departure of any type of transportation. The remarkable success is due to many factors, including the jet engine, airborne weather radar, improved pilot training, more reliable airplanes, better air traffic control, better regulations, upset-recovery training, better in-flight fire fighting techniques and adherence to standard operating procedures. This is a short list but a fairly comprehensive one; there are more contributors to this great success story.
Q: I am always anxious about flying, especially when there is turbulence. Logically, I know it is safer than riding in a car, but I feel so nervous. Is there anything you can suggest?
— Nervous Traveler, San Jose
A: You nervousness is likely based on the assumption that the turbulence will cause the airplane to have a problem. Airplanes are designed to fly in turbulence, even heavy turbulence. Turbulence is uncomfortable but not a real danger.
I suggest that you find and talk to a professional who specializes in nervous fliers. They can help you.
Good luck, I hope you are successful in reducing your anxiety.
RELATED: Is turbulence a serious safety issue?
Q: My husband the flying enthusiast is trying to find a flight for us on an Airbus A380. I like large planes, but this one seems too big to me. Is it really as safe and smooth as, say, an A330? What do you feel is the safest long-distance airplane?
— Katie, Chapel Hill, N.C.
A: The A380 is a very safe airplane and is as safe as any other airliner. I would fly on it without a second thought.
I do not believe there is a single “safest” airplane. Any of the modern airliners are safe. The safety record proves this beyond any doubt.