Harry Brown wrote:...the foundation of personal safety for most pilots stems from the training they have received.
Really? The foundation of my personal safety is my desire to stay alive.
As a result of that desire I have:
Declined to fly in an aircraft that a professional instructor assured me was safe.
Declined to fly in conditions that a professional instructor assured me was safe.
Declined to fly with PPLs that the 'system' has certified as safe.
Broken maintenance regulations because the actions of a professional aircraft engineer were making me less safe.
Taken my revalidation elsewhere because a CFI/HoT was more interested in playing policeman than anything to do with flying.
Stopped socialising in certain flying circles when it became clear that thinking for oneself was not approved behaviour.
Become unpopular because I do not automatically show deference and greater-than-usual respect to instructors or other aviation professionals.
Told a fellow low-time PPL to just sodding well climb, and that I don't care what his instructor said: when we're flying over Snowdonia MSA is much more important than the VMC minima.
Argued with an instructor in a public setting on a club flyout over their request that I relinquish to them the well-equipped Archer III I had hired and accompany another PPL in a poorly-equipped Cherokee 140 to ensure there was a instrument qualification in each aeroplane.
I'm always trying to improve my own safety. I read accident reports avidly, and the most constantly-thumbed book at home is Human Factors & Flight Safety from the Jeremy Pratt PPL series.
I've not socialised a great deal in flying circles - I have only met two other people on this forum (to my knowledge at least) - but I have to say I've never really met a pilot who's attitude I would describe as making them an accident waiting to happen, at least in the recklessness or anti-authority sense. I did see one on the weekend though, but it was in the air so I don't know who they are.
When it comes to those who are less safe than they could be
, I've met one or two who I think are on borrowed time because they just don't have the aptitude and mental sharpness to fly safely. But by far the most numerous are those I've met who think that strict adherence to every rule and everything their instructor said will by definition keep them safe, as though there was nothing else they needed to worry about.
Training is important, but it's only as good as the people devising and delivering it. There are some good people out there, a lot of average people, and some bad people. It's the same as any population - aviation professionals are not a special case in this regard.
Think for yourself. Keep yourself safe, because no-one else has quite
the same vested interest in your safety as you do.
Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.