Aviation is often viewed with suspicion by people who don’t understand the mechanisms behind it. Plus of course, aircraft are interesting things to watch, with helicopters being particularly fascinating. Add in our media’s obsession with reporting on negative news vs positive with an uneven ratio, you have a situation where aviation incidents feature disproportionately in the news media.
In fact, the overwhelming majority of helicopter pilots, whether professionals or otherwise, fly their entire careers without a single mishap or emergency.
Flown with a professional attitude and with regard to safety, helicopters fly many tens of thousands of hours each year without mishap.
Of course, that doesn’t make news headlines.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that some people around you may well question the wisdom of you deciding to fly helicopters. They will inevitably need reassurance that you will be safe, after all they care about you.
The best way is to bring them along flying. Choose a day in your training when you’ve moved on past the basic elements and we may be flying somewhere interesting and bring them along to sit in the back. And if we know in advance that you have a concerned passenger, we can also help to overcome worries by explaining the extensive safety procedures we undertake every time we fly.
Helicopter pilots are not astronauts setting out for another planet. We don’t plan to enjoy near death experiences every time we fly and we have no desire to become front page news. We simply wish to enjoy our passion in a safe and responsible way and become better pilots every time we fly. Year in, year out. For many years to come. That is what we plan for.
If we thought it was dangerous, we wouldn’t be doing it.
The article is part of a series that aim to answer all of the questions you’ve ever had if you’re thinking of learning to fly helicopters. You can read the first post here, or click the links below for the rest of the series