NJMac

Family pressures?

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Anyone have to overcome family pressures when you first got started flying for holidays and such? As a background filler, I'm only 33 and 70 hrs in my logbook.

 

We had to drive 8 hrs Dayton to Atlanta because the in laws were afraid of me flying their daughter over "mountains". They wanted to have a conference call "intervention" to talk me out of flying. Im blessed that my wife shut that down but we did still drive to avoid immediate strife.

 

Planning on talking with them while we are here. Just curious if anyone had gone thru this before and if so, open to pointers.

 

 

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Statistics probably aren’t going to be in your favour so stay clear of that altogether. That being said stressing the professional standards and regard for safety that you hold yourself to may help. The rigours of training, maintenance requirements, weather limits.

General Aviation doesn’t get a lot of good press and the general public is far from educated on what it involves so good luck.

Being open to questions and answering what you can is your best bet. Remember they aren’t necessarily questioning you personally because they probably just don’t know.

Or maybe they just don’t like you🤪.


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First those aren't mountains, they are hills :P, come fly out west to see mountains.  Steps to gaining family trust:

1. Fly when the weather is very good VFR to start.

2. Ensure you have time to wait out any weather or maintenance issues without pressure for both outbound and return flights.

3. Have a back up plan for commercial flights, rental cars, etc. Do not hesitate to use them to show you have good judgment.

4. Plan routes that reduce risk over large regions of unlandable terrain and around potential weather.  Most of the time you will find that it only adds a few minutes to total time.  Even an hour or two is still better than driving. 

As you gain experience, wisdom and judgment that goes with more flight time your family will grow to love the speed and convince of the Mooney.  I fly from Utah to California most winters, but I leave many days (three to four days) of flexibility in the schedule.  I once had to borrow my fathers car and drive home 800 miles when I couldn't find a route around a storm that was stretching from the boarder with Mexico to Canada when I had to be back for work. I then drove back a week later to return the car and fly the plane back.  We have had to leave our visit several days early when the forecasts were showing marginal weather for extended periods.  IFR can help in the winter, but out west most of the time if it is IFR it is also solid ice.

Be patient and gain the trust slowly, you have a long time for your family to enjoy the advantages of flight.

 

 

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My step daughter (17yo) was not allowed to fly with us for probably 6-8 months after I got our plane. Her father was afraid of letting her fly with me. (Truth be told he doesn't like me much... ;)

My wife didn't press the issue with him, we just let time go by as we took trips without his daughter while she was at his house. Multiple trips from Southern California to Arizona, Utah and Idaho later (involving real mountains, no disrespect to those who fly back east) he decided to let her fly with me. It helped that she really wanted to to fly and would talk to her dad about wanting to go. Her first flight with us was from Salt Lake to Southern California, she enjoyed it. 

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Just now, TTaylor said:

Be patient and gain the trust slowly, you have a long time for your family to enjoy the advantages of flight.

This is the key.  You can talk statistics, training, etc... all you want, but experience and time, showing that you make good decisions about flying will likely be what changes their minds. 

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Sorry to hear that.

We used to visit family (450 nm away) once a year (Christmas); maybe twice. Since purchasing our Mooney 5 years ago we’ve logged more than 20 trips to see them. Then again maybe they don’t care to see you that often.

GA is the safest it’s been in 50 years, but still has risks. Fly safe and send them articles like this?

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2017/11/22/472074.htm


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Ignore them.  You both should  just live your lives.  They shouldn't be living yours for you.  

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My in-laws of about 10 years, gave up complaining about 9.5 years ago when they realized we weren't about to concern ourselves with their worries. While not exactly the same thing, they were always worried about their daughter's travel to "interesting" places around the globe. And always tried to convince her of the dangers. Then she met me, and the travel just accelerated. It's been 62 countries and all 7 continents in these last 10 years. They didn't like the Mooney either, but we've been all over the US in it anyway. 

They've just given up and thrown in the towel on trying to control what their fully grown children are doing. After all, it's none of their damn business anyway.

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Just make them a deal....you and your wife will fly commercial as long as they buy you first class tickets.  :lol:  If they balk tell them to buy a NetJets share.

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Just make them a deal....you and your wife will fly commercial as long as they buy you first class tickets.    If they balk tell them to buy a NetJets share.
Cant love this on tapatalk. But i still do!

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Flying GA isn't as safe as flying commercial, but it's got to be a hell of a lot safer than 8 hours in a car with holiday traffic.

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Flying GA isn't as safe as flying commercial, but it's got to be a hell of a lot safer than 8 hours in a car with holiday traffic.

Hah, yeah and all the potential drunks, road conditions, small kids in the back, stopping for diapers, feedings...all went a long way for reasoning behind us buying a plane.


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Flying GA isn't as safe as flying commercial, but it's got to be a hell of a lot safer than 8 hours in a car with holiday traffic.
We did make it safely but the thought crossed my mind of the irony if we were to have a car wreck on this trip

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If a family member insisted I drive rather than fly my own aircraft I think the conversation we would have about it would be the last I ever had with them. I would convey my venal insult In my loudest voice, which has been known to drown out commercial jets.  I don’t care about idiot in-laws, they can be someone else’s problem.

I have to admit, I am blessed with fairly intelligent relatives. I’ve had just about everyone on both sides of the family up in the airplane at one point or another.  I don’t mind if someone doesn’t want to go, but someone trying to prevent ME from flying?

All that said, I don’t tend to fly to family gatherings. Too much pressure to get back in a timely manner.

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Then there is the smart wife that ask for new shoes and outfit for that special trip to Sun n' fun. And you happily spend $200 on new clothing. But on the day of the trip she says "Honey I am not feeling well, I am getting my period and don't want to make a mess on your plane. But go by yourself and have more fun" So much for new clothing. Beware of these tactics. She got me three times but no more after I met Sofia, always ready to fly.

 

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This is a difficult one, because they have a paternal instinct of care for their daughter, while you have a love for her.  If you ignore them then you have to do it with her agreement to back you or you will lose the battle long term, with possibility of th big D word after they have nibbled at the relationship for a few years.  

I think you made the right choice this time around, but in the spring, fly down to see them, just dont tell them you are coming till you get there.  When they see how easier it is and how short a journey it is they will change their minds.

its your life not their.  

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1 hour ago, steingar said:

All that said, I don’t tend to fly to family gatherings. Too much pressure to get back in a timely manner.

Personally, I feel more pressure to go to family events rather than come home. The desire to be home for work is a constant, regardless of why I am away. That said, I've called the boss and asked for additional vacation time due to icing PIREPs.

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I fortunately have not had to deal with this.  My wife will not let me fly the kids without her on board, but that’s the extent of the pushback I get on flying.  She has seen me cancel or delay flights (regardless of pressure to be somewhere) for almost a decade now though, so I think that will eventually change.

That being said, I think the advice above is solid.  Build some time and experience and talk them through your decision-making process.  If that doesn’t change their minds, fly anyways.  I think they’ll come around once they realize they’ll get more time with their daughter.  Good luck.

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4 hours ago, NJMac said:

 

Anyone have to overcome family pressures when you first got started flying for holidays and such? As a background filler, I'm only 33 and 70 hrs in my logbook.

 

We had to drive 8 hrs Dayton to Atlanta because the in laws were afraid of me flying their daughter over "mountains". They wanted to have a conference call "intervention" to talk me out of flying. Im blessed that my wife shut that down but we did still drive to avoid immediate strife.

 

Planning on talking with them while we are here. Just curious if anyone had gone thru this before and if so, open to pointers.

 

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

 

 

 

I’ve been a professional pilot for 16 years, thousands of hours of turbine time, hundreds of aircraft carrier arrestments, combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I’m an ATP, a CFII, have over 700 hours in the mooney alone... and my in laws and parents still are “worried” when I fly the family in the mooney.  Lately they demand I fly IFR (even on beautiful, clear, eastern Oregon days!) so they can monitor me via flight aware.  Silly!

 

I think its it’s just a natural reaction to family members flying- honestly.  I take their concern as a sign that they care for us.  Driving the 8 or so hours through remote, Ice covered, fog laden, low traffic roads is far more dangerous for my typical family mission that only takes 2 hours in the mooney (albeit across remote terrain)... I think if every family that died in a car crash was on the front page of a news paper, my family would be a little more pro-GA-flying and a little less “why don’t you guys drive.”

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2 hours ago, M016576 said:

I’ve been a professional pilot for 16 years, thousands of hours of turbine time, hundreds of aircraft carrier arrestments, combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I’m an ATP, a CFII, have over 700 hours in the mooney alone... and my in laws and parents still are “worried” when I fly the family in the mooney.  Lately they demand I fly IFR (even on beautiful, clear, eastern Oregon days!) so they can monitor me via flight aware.  Silly!

I use a SPOT tracker that allows the family to see where we are on the computer and is a nice addition if something did go wrong.

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Sorry to hear that. I hope they get comfortable with the idea of you flying as a family. I count my blessings everyday that my wife comes from a GA family. Her father flew L-19 Bird Dogs in Vietnam, which makes getting $100 burgers in the Mooney sound like an extremely safe hobby!

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My wife actually prefers I fly on the business trips so I won't have to be out there with the "crazies on the road"    Stats wise it is about as safe as riding a motorcycle or bicycle on the road according to the CDC

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What my challenges were....

1) Both my parents and hers...

2) My M20C was in the rattiest condition...

3) A few AMU spent on updating as much as you can with a few AMUs...

4) Education, Mine And their's... I invited them all to come fly, individually, around the pattern or out for lunch... starting with the pre-flight and checklists...

5) The more they knew, that I knew, what I was doing, the more comfortable they became...

6) I stopped hearing any complaints after visiting family weekly on some occasions.... the best I could do was driving once a month otherwise....

7) Grandparents Love to see their grandchildren, often. When It only happens by plane, they wish you would By a newer safer plane...

8) My parents bought me my first portable GPS!  GPS was so new at the time... we discussed the automotive uses all the time....

9) a decade later, the plane is a much different one than the first, The IR And additional knowledge are easy to share...

10) Scoring a 98% On The IR written is a pretty serious indication of how serious I was about safety.

11) Mom Got ill, we visited at the drop of a hat.  We knew it was coming... Mom passed, we were there later that day....

12) Mom never took me up on that flight... we just taxied from the tie down to the fuel pumps...  She was happy with that.  I have a picture of her with a big smile as she left the M20C...  happy to get out, or happy to see it was no big deal... I’ll never know....

13) getting the core family to travel... they see the utility.  Where they can go, how far they can go.

14) If they want to fly... It is up to them to decide... like driving, It won't be free...  :)

15) Everybody is different... learning and teaching can easily, or not so easily, bridge the gap...

16) I’m convinced that, if I can get my family to come out to see my Mooney friends and family, at a fly-in... things would start looking up even quicker...  real people actually fly Moonies...

17) I was blessed with good inlaws... I didn't know how good until after I was married.... we are getting to the point where I am as old now as they were when I met them....

18) Thanksgiving, dinner with one half the family on Thursday, the other half on the weekend...

19) Christmas, fly up the day before, drop off all the gifts, fly up with the core family celebrate Christmas with all the gifts that were magically delivered by Santa Claus.....

20) Favorite phone call... 'hey Mom and Dad, what are you doing for lunch? See you in an hour and a half....’

21) bought the dad a scanner from sporties, so he could hear planes in the traffic pattern...

22) I think fear of the unknown is quite a blockade.

23) Break up fear with shared knowledge.... Not always an easy task.  Stay positive.

24) The reason for all this effort... it’s your life, you need to live it.  What ever works for you...

25) Mom always said... ‘You get more with sugar than you do with brute force...?’  I may have used her words to get what I wanted from her....

Everyone seems to be happy with this plan now....

Keeping score?

  • My parents ruined one car coming to visit me... renegade youngster ran into their car.
  • I drove up to give them a ride the rest of the way...
  • haven't had an accident with the plane doing the same trip for 15 years....

Sharing what I learned about the same issues you are seeing....  hope it is as easy for you as it was for me... or even easier....

Best regards,

-a-

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