19 Sep 2001 wcooley   » (Journeyer)

Personal: Well, I'm flying tomorrow. Erin and I are going to visit her parents in Massachusettes and then fly to Germany for a couple of weeks. We've been wanting to go for a long time and planning this trip for several months. If anyone is interested, here's our itinerary:


  • CVG - Cincinnati, OH
  • BDL - Hartford/Springfield, CT
  • JFK - New York, NY
  • FRA - Frankfurt, Germany

To Europe:

  • 10 Sept 2001
    • PDX to CVG, Delta flight 890, 10:45 - 8:09
    • CVG to BDL, Delta flight 2204, 19:15 - 21:15
    • From Hartford we drive back to Erin's parents' house in Great Barrington, MA.

  • 25 Sept 2001
    • JFK to FRA, Singapore Air flight 25, 21:45 - 11:15 (arrv 26th)

Return trip:

  • 9 Oct 2001
    • FRA to JFK, Sinapore Air flight 26, 8:30 - 10:40

  • 10 Oct 2001
    • BDL to CVG, Delta flight 994, 17:50 - 9:49
    • CVG to PDX, Delta flight 1597, 20:55 - 22:39

My parents, who have hardly ever flown in their lives, are very worried. Erin's parents, who fly often (her father flys about 18 times a year), are not so worried. Given the recent events, there is some cause for worry. But lets put the matter in perspective:

  1. On one day in 2001, 266 people died on airplanes. This is an exceptional occurance; 266 people don't die every day on planes; hardly even in five years. But for the sake of simplicity, let's assume the worst and that this is yearly average.

  2. According to a CDC report from 1998, there were 530 deaths in my age group (25-34) caused by pneumonia; 90,174 total. If we were to make a patently false worst-case assumption that all 266 people were aged between 25 and 34, I'm twice as likely to die from pneumonia.

  3. In the same report, there were 7,132 deaths in my age group caused by motor vehicle accidents; 43,501 in total. Based on the same assumption, I'm almost 29 times more likely to die in an auto accident.

  4. Again in the same report, there were 4,565 deaths in my age group because of "Homocide and legal intervention" (I'm not sure what the latter is; I assume being killed by a cop); and 18,272 total. This is actually a little surprising to me; nonetheless, I'm 17 times more likely to be murdered.

I'm not afraid to fly; neither am I afraid of dying in a car accident, from pneumonia, or by murder.

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