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Going Direct: Should The Pandemic Change How We Look At Aviation’s Safety Record?

The number of deaths from COVID-19 in one just one day is as much as 10 times greater than the number of light plane crash fatalities in an entire year. Does that matter?


A while ago, around 125,000 deaths ago, in fact, I wrote about whether the pandemic should make us reconsider aviation safety in light of the great death toll that Covid has wreaked upon the world, and the United States, in particular. After an entire year under the specter of a global pandemic, the answer, I believe, is clearer than ever.

Much of what we do in aviation is driven by safety concerns, to the point where we’re dealing with relatively small numbers—a few hundred fatalities a year. That’s not nothing, but it’s been hard for me lately to think of that as a huge number, a number that on its face is an unacceptably high price for us to pay for doing what pilots of small planes love to do. Are driven to do.

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