View Full Version : Is it easier to fly an aeroplane or drive a car?

20th Sep 2005, 07:13
The 'Do pilots make good drivers' thread got me thinking on this.

Is it easier to fly an aeroplane or easier to drive a car? With the ban on using mobile phones, perhaps the government thinks it is harder to drive. After all, if a pilot (especially a PPL) has to fly the plane, talk to ATC, navigate hands free and spend the remaining time looking around is considered safe and a driver, who only has to look where he's going (and occasionally where he's been), can't talk to someone on the phone because its considered too dangerous.

So what's the easiest?

20th Sep 2005, 07:23
I think it all really depends on what you fly etc...

Generally speaking though, I think flying is harder because when driving you don't encounter the spikes in required concentration that flying demands.

20th Sep 2005, 07:31
Dunno about easier but someone want to tell the retired police commisioner that when he is on national TV flying a JP it might be a good idea to do his helmet strap up! Last night there he was, 10 million witnesses, helmet strap undone.

20th Sep 2005, 09:23
Well, there's less chance of hitting something when you're out flying, not many lampposts or parked aeroplanes up there, and you're not going to have kids running out in front of your aeroplane at any moment (unless you're flying over Smallville...!)

20th Sep 2005, 09:29
Mobile phone's a red herring.

Communications with ATC while flying are about the safe conduct of the flight - you are still concentrating on the same task.

Mobile phone conversations with family, office, whatever, take you into a different mental context - they are a distraction from the driving task.

20th Sep 2005, 09:33
not many lampposts......up there

Someone should really tell the Jaguar pilots that. :E

20th Sep 2005, 09:57
In an aircraft, there isnt 10,000 brainless numbskulls up there with you! so hence, there is no need to have constant lookout and be in full control at all times, (by in control, i mean hands on the wheel)

20th Sep 2005, 10:04
so you dont lookout?!?!?

20th Sep 2005, 10:06
i think you know what i mean, but you can look at a chart, change a freq or whatever without the threat of somone pulling out in front of you, or a drunk padestrian etc etc.... but that only VFR! i have heard IFR aircraft dont need windows?:}

20th Sep 2005, 10:08
I recall a pilot who had survived a major crash on a heavy & IIRC it may have been Denny Fitch saying that he felt far safer in the air than on the freeway for the simple reason that his peers had been rigorously trained, most were ex forces & therefore professionaly disciplined & operated under strict rules, whereas the roads are a freakin free for all.

Lon More
20th Sep 2005, 10:34
I had a PPL before learning to drive a car and had considerable problems in corners, trying to balance the turn with the pedals and rolling off the bank. Learned a few new words from the driving instructor:rolleyes:

20th Sep 2005, 11:19
If driving a car was like flying a plane, would you therefore drive the car manually out of your driveway, to the main road and then press a button, let the car drive to 100 yards away from your destination and then takeover to park safely?


<ducks and runs>

20th Sep 2005, 11:23
Having done both, I think it's harder to drive a car on city streets through Naples, Italy than fly a B747 into JFK, even on the Canarsi approach.

Further, during a long cruise on autopilot by far the biggest challenge is staying awake and engaged in the job.

As was said earlier, those spikes in concentration are where the money is earned.

Maude Charlee
20th Sep 2005, 16:19
Flying is a doddle, it's the landing that makes it tricky. ;)

If you compare the relative dangers of your average PPL chugging about in his spamcan with the same bod chugging about in his family hatch, then it's the driving that's going to kill you 99 times out of 100.

20th Sep 2005, 17:47
eal401 wrote:If driving a car was like flying a plane, would you therefore drive the car manually out of your driveway, to the main road and then press a button, let the car drive to 100 yards away from your destination and then takeover to park safely?
You think you're joking, don't you ;) ...

20th Sep 2005, 18:13
I passed my skills test just before my 17th birthday, and have not yet started learning to drive. What challenges other than Dop's comment do I face? Somebody told me you can tell a pilot who drives because he/ she/ it never indicates!


21st Sep 2005, 04:34
Due to the decline in educational standards in some countries Ford USA have taken steps towards simplifying the primary instruments in their cars.