In the modern world, flying is so darn safe that we honestly take it for granted. I could look up specific numbers about exactly how safe it is but that is not my purpose here today.
As someone who flies for a living, I have a vested interest in ensuring that flying is safe, which it largely is. Airlines fly millions of passengers everyday with only rare situations of dramatic safety issues. The safety of military flying is even that much higher, despite our increased risk, because of all the extra time we put into safety.
So what does any of this have to do with being grateful? I guess the fact that I fly all the time and arrive back home to my family safely is what I am truly grateful for.
I recently had a flight where we landed with eight different write-ups for maintenance to take care of. As much as I hate leaving them that much work, it is a credit to their continued diligence that not a single one of those things was so vital that we weren’t able to finish our mission.
Stuff is going to break on a forty year old plane, that’s just the way it is. However, the strict standards that we adhere to in maintenance and mission planning and preparation of everyone involved, ensure that I continue to make it home safely at night.
Earlier today I had a discussion on Twitter about what to tell your kids as they get older and start to realize how dangerous your job can be flying. I guess I won’t know the results of my efforts until my kids get older, but I am always honest with them about how much time and preparation we put into what we do. That it is still dangerous, but we mitigate those risks through our efforts.
That seems to be enough to placate them now, but I know my safety standards will never change so I hope they will understand all I am doing to make sure I am safe.
Safety is one of those things I think we take for granted, until an accident happens, but like many other aviators I know personally, I will always be grateful for my safety when flying, and I will forever remain diligent to ensure I remain that safe.
What are you grateful for?