Basic aircraft safety

What sort of safety are we interested in when flying? Well, mostly, we want to know that the plane will stay safely in the sky, from take-off to landing. And yes, we would like too add reduced-turbulence to the mix.

“The pilot cannot help it if there is turbulence”, some may say. Ahem, not quite true! How so? Well, avoiding a storm area is one way. And believe it or not, this is not always done. Why? Fuel economy, for one thing. There is a well-known expression in the aviation industry. “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots. But there are no old-bold pilots”. Of course, I am not, for a minute, suggesting that all turbulence can be avoided. But one can, based on an airline’s history, reserve our consumer right to be selective whom we entrust our safety to.

So, how does one make an informed decision as to which airline to fly with, if safety is one of our main concerns, you may well ask. And taking into account good piloting practice, too.

Research. For example, you will learn that there are certain airlines who are not permitted to fly over European airspace. If that is the case, it would be a good idea to ascertain why. Usually, its due to the fall-down syndrome.

If you feel uncomfortable in flying on a certain aircraft, you can find out before booking, what type of aircraft is operated on that route with the airline chosen. If booked through the internet, a bit of extra looking may be needed or a call to the airline. If through a travel agent, (few as they are, these days), they have the information right at hand on their GDS (General Distribution System). Despite your efforts, the airlines may swap the aircraft type prior to departure for technical or schedule reasons.  You may therefore not entirely avoid  a certain aircraft type, simply due to happenstance.  This can happen even if you have checked beforehand.

Now that you’ve done all the checking, you’re ready to fly.

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