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Reflections: Fly another day

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By Thomas W. Ivines

Airplanes are not go anytime, go anywhere vehicles.

My airplane is a good example. If the weather is bad you cannot fly. Flying a small Cessna in severe weather can be extremely hazardous to your health.

I remember one time when flying in bad weather, I got stuck in Clewiston, Florida for a couple of days. I was lucky. I landed at the airport before the weather got so bad I would have been forced down in the Glades. The Everglades is no place to be forced down, anytime, let alone in bad weather.

There is something to say for traveling in a car even if it takes twice as long. Sometimes you simply cannot fly and that's why I occasionally drive

There is a saying in aviation: "You can always fly another day."

Should you fly in bad weather, you may not live to fly another day.

Even when you sometimes look outside and the sky is friendly, it may not be that way along your route or where you are going. Careful planning for the entire trip is essential.

General aviation statistics show the airplane itself does not cause the majority of all small airplane accidents, but rather they crash due to the wrong decisions made by the pilots. Ninety eight percent of all general aviation accidents are caused by pilot error. And, most of those accidents were when the pilots should have made the choice not to fly at all.

This weekend my wife and I were to fly a couple of friends to Tampa for lunch, and we probably could have, but we made the choice not to take the risk. The weather was marginal and we did not want to put them in jeopardy. You know, there's always that proverbial "another day." You see we would rather disappoint our friends than forfeit them to demise, so we did not go.

Anyway, here I am writing this newspaper column instead of flying to Tampa, and that will make my editor happy. I have been so busy lately I have been sending my manuscripts in late. This one will finally be in on time. My wife's friends and mine will fly to Tampa for lunch another time and, oh, I'll be around to write again.