Posted by: Jeff Rhodes | September 23, 2011

Aviation Drama Crisis

They say that any coverage is good coverage.  I don’t think I agree.  Aviation got a black eye this week in the press, following the tragic accident at Reno.  I have a new employee in my office, who has been around the insurance industry for years, but is brand new to general aviation.  Her comment upon returning to the office after watching the Reno coverage last weekend was, “wow, I didn’t realize how dangerous these airplanes could be!” 

Uh-oh.  I’ve got some work to do. 

Aviation accidents are dramatic.  More so when video cameras capture the moment of impact.  Make sure the non-aviation oriented in your circles understand this.  Remind them that the number of people killed in traffic accidents in a large city on any given day probably outnumbers the people killed in any airplane accident currently in the news – but we just don’t see them dramatically reported.  Take the time to talk through the mechanical and human factors issues of any aviation accident.  Let the laymen know that these accidents are explainable and what procedures your organization has in place to mitigate mechanical, system, and human risk.  Don’t accentuate the drama – people are getting enough of that.  Calm the urge to call for the government to “do something.”  Explain that over-reaching reactionary regulation is not necessary, won’t solve the problem, and often has unintended consequences. 

It takes cool heads and constant public relations to protect our industry.  Be an ambassador for general aviation wherever one is needed.


  1. It won’t help one bit. It doesn’t matter which field your derege is in. If you want to fly Blackhawks your chances will be much better in the Army. They have thousands of them. The Air Force has 70. You can fly in the Army with only a High School diploma

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