Is Flying Still Safer Than Driving?

Y’know, I’ve heard for years about how it’s supposed to be safer to fly than do drive and maybe that was true twenty or thirty years ago, but stories like this recent one in which Obama’s plane had to make an unscheduled landing in St. Louis because of a “maintenance issue” that came up on the way from Chicago to Charlotte, N.C.

This whole thing has me wondering if maybe some of the problems going on today has anything to do with the fact that the average age of most aircraft in use is anywhere from 10 to 30 years old. This really doesn’t sound too good to me. I am not a hamster, I hear about aircraft being that old and I think maybe I need to shop for a life insurance quote before I shop for airline tickets.

Btw- The headline in the news summary email said “maintenance issue” and the story on CBS’s website says “mechanical issue”. In either case, the nature of the “issue” was never fully revealed.

With the aircraft fleets of the various airlines apparently aging faster than they’re getting replaced with new ones, I wonder just how safe flying really is these days? With all the near miss situations and “just in case” landings like with Obama’s plane, how long will it be before something happens that can’t be fixed with a “just in case” landing? Isn’t it time for replacement of old aircraft to be stepped up? Besides, think of what that would do for the economy … more orders for aircraft makers, more jobs, more money pumped into those communities….. Sounds like a good idea to me. (but then again, I’ve never flown commercially either)

[Tags]aircraft, maintenance, mechanical, maintenance issue, obama, unscheduled landing, old aircraft, safety[/tags]