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MH370

Posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014

Dave!Every time there's a mishap, problem, disaster, or close-call with a flight, I'm inevitably asked something along the lines of "You fly a lot... don't you worry about this happening to you?"

To which I always answer "No. Not even a little bit."

And every time I say it, I realize that people must think I'm lying... or dismissing them... or saying whatever I have to say to convince myself that I'm invincible. But I'm really not. And this is why...

Flight Radar World Map

That's a FlightRadar24 map of all the commercial planes in the air right now. Thousands of them. And here's a close-up look at what's flying over the mainland US alone...

Flight Radar World Map

That's pretty much going on all day long, though things shift a bit as some parts of the world go to sleep and other parts wake up. With this kind of traffic in the air 24/7, it's easy to see how flying truly IS one of the safest activities you can do. My drive to the airport is a far, far more dangerous journey than my upcoming flight to Europe.

And so no, I don't worry about flying.

Not even a little bit.

If it happens, it happens. But the odds are so mind-bogglingly low that it's just not worth fretting over.

Getting trapped in a middle-seat between a smelly person and a crying baby however?

   
My deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the disappearance of Malaysian Flight MH370.

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Categories: Travel 2014Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Dave – I couldn’t agree more. I’ve seen these maps countless times and yet they still boggle my mind. I heard a stat once that there are 5,000 737s aloft at any given moment, with one taking off or landing every five seconds. I also heard that there is a “city” of a million people aloft on average at any given time. I haven’t fact these but they seem feasible, especially when you look at the maps you posted.

    There is an emotional aspect of air travel that is tough to overcome, hence it makes these *very* rare fatalities seem more likely than they actually are.

  2. Robin says:

    I travel quite a bit as well (leaving for New Orleans tomorrow!) and I get the same question whenever there is an air disaster. I tell everyone that I have been in numerous car accidents and not one plane accident, so my odds are pretty good.

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