Dave Hirschman

Web posts make us invulnerable! (We hope . . .)

April 28, 2008 by Dave Hirschman, Senior Editor

An ongoing thread on the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) Web site points out a remarkable correlation between aviation accidents and Web posting. Evidently, no one who has ever posted a comment on the COPA site has been involved in a Cirrus accident. COPA members have never been reluctant to share their thoughts, and there’s a vigorous difference of opinion about whether pilots who post on the Web are better informed, or just lucky blowhards.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF) has an ongoing, internal discussion about how best to get ASF online courses onto the computer screens of the pilots who need them. There’s no empirical evidence to back this up, but I’ve got to think the pilots who take the ASF interactive Runway Safety course, for example, are probably less likely to mistakenly cross the yellow lines than those who don’t. And that’s true even before they heighten their awareness by taking the online course.

Anyway, I’m not a Cirrus owner, and I’m not superstitious. But I’ll try to post something on the COPA site just to hedge my bets . . .

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7 Responses to “Web posts make us invulnerable! (We hope . . .)”

  1. Craig Says:

    The COPA forum is certainly active, the lack of mederation on the main forums and the generally high levels of information to noise (we can ignore the off topic forus here ;-) just makes it a fantastic resource. If you get involved in the site then you are immersed in issues of safety maintenance, best practice and procedure. One of the best web subscriptions I ever made.

    As to if it makes you safer, well maybe those who participate tend to be the safety aware individuals anyway – difficult to tell. But it has certainly made me a better informed, mre thoughtful, pilot.

  2. Heather Says:

    I have not been on the COPA forum, but am an active participant on the Cessna Pilots Society forum http://cessna-pilots.com/ and have found it an invaluable resource. I am still a new pilot, and often use the forum to ask opinions from more experienced members on whether a planned flight is a good idea given current conditions, how to maintain my airplane, maintenance, resources, equipment to purchase, etc.

    I have found the level of expertise, the willingness to share information and experiences, and the friendship and camaraderie to be outstanding. I will definitely testify that it has improved my safety record and ability to consider safety issues that I had not thought about before posting a question. Thumbs up to the guys at the CPS!

  3. Ernie Ganas Says:

    I agree that users who spend time in forums are typically those who take the time to read IFR Magazine, Aviation Safety, NTSB reporter or other periodicals who provide knowledge to readers.

    As a long time AVSIG forum user and Beech-list member I find that even after forty years of flying I constantly learn new thing from those with more or different experience than I.

  4. Robert Hancok Says:

    As someone who frequents several aviation related websites/fourms I find once past the egotistical rubbish that seems to be more an more prevalent, meaningful information can be found. Granted, not all forums are created alike. A good thing. What is troubling at least to me, it so much misinformation is being shared with the good that one wonders if the logic that those who participate are guaranteed to be safer pilots. Never mind those who only lurk.

    A case in point: I recently read where a soon to be CFI expressed his adamant position that once exercising his privileges there would be no way he would require his students to perform stalls. I can only hope his instructor will see to it his applicant will become enlightened or suggest a different profession. No one on this fourm challenged this flawed never mind misunderstanding of regulations.

    A lot of folks do indeed help. Bob Miller’s Over The Airways is a good example. Not so much a fourm but great information source. Just remember, some opinions are well founded, where others are not.

  5. Dave Wilson Says:

    I am a Beech-list user and have beeen flying for over thirty years. The information gained from other users concernig flying, IFR proceures, maintenance and other education has had an impact on judgement and confidence. The caiiber/experence/expertise of the members of this list and the willingness to share make the list very value to me and all other members. Am I a better/safer pilot; I certainly hope so!

  6. W Melville Says:

    Having taken several of the Air Safety Foundation courses on the AOPA website, I’m coming back for more of them. It’s very helpful to know ahead of time just how long a particular session will take. What a wonderful method of checking just how knowledgeable I am with the added benefit of possible improvement.

    Jump on in!

  7. Freda Says:

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