What’s the biggest lie in aviation? “The most dangerous part of the flight is the drive to the airport.”
So says Avemco President Jim Lauerman, in one of several forums he has presented at AirVenture this week. “We need to be honest about the risks and how to manage them,” he said.
“Over 25% of the money we pay out in claims are because people could not maintain directional or airspeed control — the most basic of fundamentals,” he says. He admits that the fundamentals aren’t “sexy, but how hard is it to do an ILS approach if you can’t do a constant rate of descent?”
And having the latest and greatest in technology won’t help save a pilot, he says.
“More people get killed not because of technology — or not having it — but from making bad decisions,” he says.
And it’s not what you know — or don’t know — about flying that will get you in trouble, he continues, but what is motivating you at that particular moment. For example, say it took you months to talk your wife into buying a plane, selling the idea that you’ll be able to fly up to visit the kids more often. Then the first time she wants to fly to see the kids, the weather is bad. Instead of ‘fessing up and saying that it’s not safe to fly, some husbands will go ahead and make the flight in an attempt to prove the utility of the airplane, he says. “That is caring about the wrong thing.”
To be a safe pilot, you need to be a grown up, not an adolescent, he adds. “Don’t be a testerone-filled fool,” he says. “Be a professional in the cockpit.”
Even with all the warnings, Lauerman adds not to forget the most important thing: “Flying is a blast. Let’s celebrate that. Let’s have fun.”
For more information: Avemco.com