NJMac

Family pressures?

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8 hours ago, carusoam said:

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-

Probably your best write-up.  

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Thanks to everyone who posted or messaged me. There is so much wisdom here that was volunteered freely; how awesome!

My wife and I prayed last night about our planned conversation with her father and step mother today. We're both obviously nervous about it but we're not going to let our fear hold us back like their fear is.

I didnt mention earlier, my father in law, mother in law, and late grandfather on their side were all pilots, probably 30 years since currency at this point. I honestly cant understand where their fears are coming from but hope to sometime today.

We brought our ipad to show them foreflight, duats, and may even call into 800 weather breifing to help them understand how serious I take flight planning. Since we wouldn't do the conference call, they emailed me their concerns. Almost half of the 12 bullet points came down to weather concerns.

I'll post an update after today with the FIL and probably Saturday we will see MIL.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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9 hours ago, N803RM said:

Safety is a must. Experience is a must. The most dangerous part is the drive to the airport. Be careful and respect the conditions of your flight.

So if riding a motorcycle is as dangerous as flying a plane.  And you ride the motorcycle to the airport to fly your plane, are you decreasing the odds as a double negative?

Asking for a friend.

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8 minutes ago, Yetti said:

So if riding a motorcycle is as dangerous as flying a plane.  And you ride the motorcycle to the airport to fly your plane, are you decreasing the odds as a double negative?

Yes, if you get killed riding your Harley to the airport your odds of dying in a plane crash are decreased.   

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57 minutes ago, NJMac said:

Thanks to everyone who posted or messaged me. There is so much wisdom here that was volunteered freely; how awesome!

My wife and I prayed last night about our planned conversation with her father and step mother today. We're both obviously nervous about it but we're not going to let our fear hold us back like their fear is.

I didnt mention earlier, my father in law, mother in law, and late grandfather on their side were all pilots, probably 30 years since currency at this point. I honestly cant understand where their fears are coming from but hope to sometime today.

We brought our ipad to show them foreflight, duats, and may even call into 800 weather breifing to help them understand how serious I take flight planning. Since we wouldn't do the conference call, they emailed me their concerns. Almost half of the 12 bullet points came down to weather concerns.

I'll post an update after today with the FIL and probably Saturday we will see MIL.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

If they were all pilots and have weather related concerns it is probably because at some point they were involved in a weather related incident that  scared them really bad, they were grateful they survived, and they worry what would happen if you ended up in a similar circumstance.

Showing them the weather forecasting and data available, as well as the in-flight data available, and that you use it and have solid personal minimums I think will go a very long way. My dad flew in the Air Force, including a 4 year stint flying HC-130's with the Air Rescue Squadron up in Alaska during the early 80's. He has a lot of stories about low level flights through canyons looking for downed planes or missing climbers, night flights over and around the mountains up there, long flights in the soup over very inhospitable terrain, and unpredictable weather. He has never voiced any concerns about my flying, but he was amazed at what is available just on a tablet in flight and the online weather forecasting that there is now when I showed him. I think one of the biggest or perhaps the biggest advances that have been made that contribute to flight safety is the advancement of weather forecasting and weather conditions available before and during a flight.

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52 minutes ago, Jerry 5TJ said:

Yes, if you get killed riding your Harley to the airport your odds of dying in a plane crash are decreased.   

Shower thought: what if you are killed when your motorcycle is crashed into by a fella turning his base-to-final into a snap roll?

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1 hour ago, NJMac said:


I didnt mention earlier, my father in law, mother in law, and late grandfather on their side were all pilots, probably 30 years since currency at this point. I honestly cant understand where their fears are coming from but hope to sometime today.
 

I started flying back in the late 70's, there is a ton of situational improvements since then. I would get the father-in law in the right seat and let him see it in action, he still has the aviation bug, you just have to bring it out. I will say that you had better bring your "A" game so stack the deck in your favor,  severe clear, calm, cooler temps, minimal traffic..... You get the picture. And with all flights it can be text book perfect but you'll only be graded by the landing :D

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Im going to suggest an approach with your in laws that is a little more lay.   You are the pilot and they are not.  They don’t know what they are talking about.  They are basically going on feelings, so facts and figures probably won’t work.   You can have 200 facts and it probably won’t overcome their feeling.   

Just distill it all down into a simple statement.  I said this to my father inlaw and it seemed to work very well to ease things.

Just look them in the eyes and tell them that you understand their discomfort or uneasiness and you want them to just know that you go through GREAT LENGTHS to ensure not just a safe aircraft, but also safe operations.   And leave it at that.    Anything else just takes time for them to develop trust.   Facts and figures will just create tension.   Timing is also key in how they will internalize the above.   Tell them when they are in a very good mood.   Otherwise, avoid the topic all together. ;)

If they are bringing up weather issues, just agree with them.   Yea, we don’t fly near ice or thunderstorms.   You listen to ground stations while enroute.  You have onboard weather.  You thoroughly preflight weather.  You turn around or don’t launch if weather is below personal minimums.   I would just answer their questions and not bother trying to convince them of anything.  This is your oral exam. ;) 

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Hi! Give it some time. Gain some experience and respect their decisions, whatever they say. You are all adults. 

That said,  I wouldn't let my daughters fly with anyone I didn't know that didn't have an instrument rating and 400+ hrs. I'd still need to inspect the airplane. No sport bikes either.  Sorry girlies.

-Matt

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3 hours ago, Jerry 5TJ said:

Yes, if you get killed riding your Harley to the airport your odds of dying in a plane crash are decreased.   

Harley PFFFFT.  Don't have no pirate clothes to wear.   BMW thank you very much

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3 hours ago, NJMac said:

I didnt mention earlier, my father in law, mother in law, and late grandfather on their side were all pilots, probably 30 years since currency at this point. I honestly cant understand where their fears are coming from but hope to sometime today.

We brought our ipad to show them foreflight, duats, and may even call into 800 weather breifing to help them understand how serious I take flight planning. Since we wouldn't do the conference call, they emailed me their concerns. Almost half of the 12 bullet points came down to weather concerns.
 

Mountains?  :rolleyes:  From Dayton, go to Chattanooga then into Atlanta.  You'll need clear air and look in the right places to see hills, much less fly in/over them.

Weather concerns are quite valid for a very low time VFR only pilot.  Sorry, but you can get "trapped/stuck" for some very benign weather.   Been there, done that.  Fortunately they were all day trips for us and at departure time, not getting back home.  That is what pushed me to do my IFR training earlier than originally planned.  After our 2nd or 3rd cancellation for benign IFR weather I walked into the flight school and asked a CFII if he had time later that day.  He did and I booked it right then and there and I started my instrument training that afternoon.

Fears are typically irrational; concerns can be very rational.  Using logic to battle fears is pointless.  Using logic and data to battle concerns can work though.  I flew my daughters and some of their friends  to the beach on several occasions.  I always checked with the parents before my daughters invited their friends.  One mother surprised me as I knew she grew up flying with her father.  Now that she had a kid she had fear of her child flying.  That child just missed out on beach trips.  My youngest just asked other friends to go on trips with her.

My mother doesn't like small planes.  She always made sure my dad picked jets, not turboprops when they travel.  He's flown with me in a SR22, but there's no way she would.  She was a nervous wreck when I flew one of our kids up to visit with she and my dad; kids got a week being spoiled with the grandparents.  Now, that was my first flight after getting my PPL, so I fully understand she had some concerns.  And I flew the other kid back home.  The kids on the other hand loved it.  My mother doesn't bother me about flying anymore, but she still won't get in the plane either.  The kids love traveling private.

Now it takes some pretty yucky weather for me to cancel a flight.  More often an early or late departure to avoid bad weather.  My typical statement is "anything but ice or thunderstorms", but that got invalidated earlier this year.  We had a trip to Charleston to see some tennis, and we love Charleston.  We ended up driving due to very strong winds with even airliners reporting moderate to heavy turbulence down near where we'd cruise, plus high gusting winds at landing in Charleston.  On our drive we stopped for fuel, snacks and a bathroom break in Columbia, SC on the way and had to hold the car doors open or the wind would slam them shut.  We also had to lean into the wind walking into the the store and back to the car.  Yeah, not a good day to be flying.

Find some good VFR weather and get some flying in.  If you really want to travel private, then work on your instrument rating.

 

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5 hours ago, Yetti said:

So if riding a motorcycle is as dangerous as flying a plane.  And you ride the motorcycle to the airport to fly your plane, are you decreasing the odds as a double negative?

Asking for a friend.

Statistically motorcycles are worse.

another big difference is we individually are mostly responsible for our own bad statistics (mostly poor decisions) where in motorcycles it’s often out of our hands when bad luck strikes.

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Our family has a different tradition.  One of my uncles was a pilot, he lived in ABQ and used to fly to the summer cabin where we all stayed, for a once a year visit.  No phone at the airport nor at the cabin, so the way he told us he had arrived was to overfly the lake and wag his wings.  We would all pile in the car and go to the airport to get him.  Several of us flew with him, including me, he would do the takeoff and landing and we would fly the plane in between.  He died in an aviation accident, but it was a balloon accident in Europe, not a GA aircraft.  When I got my license the members of my family couldn't wait to go flying with me.  A few were more reluctant, but the years have passed, I have not crashed yet, so one by one they ask to come flying.  Then they love it.  It certainly helped to have a predecessor.  

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Three out of four of our parents have passed, and the one remaining - my mother - no longer wants to fly GA as her mobility, vision and hearing are not that great, but has no qualms about our doing so. I rode in a friends plane with my father, so I believe he would have been okay with it as well. Late mother and father-in-law flew in their friends Mooney C so I cannot believe they would have minded. All the rest of our siblings enjoy flying. Children, nieces and nephews as well, with my Greenville police-niece wanting to get some time behind the yoke to see if she like it enough to pursue a license.

Both sides of our family have never shied away from flying, driving, SCUBA diving, or riding (motorcycles, horses, etc.). I was brought up being taught it is about risk mitigation, planning, and following your plan. As a parent I think about the things I did earlier in life and, looking back, realize God does protect fools and children - even foolish children - and start to worry my kids will do the same (stupid) things. I think it is only natural to have those worries and only in hindsight. I think we worry about things we have experienced or know about, and everything else seems somewhat benign. That has probably been the way of the world forever, and from hearing the OP's in-laws have flying in their background, it may well hold true.

 

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When my wife and I were first together I rode a bike and was a member of a flying club that gave me access to a couple of really nice F33A's. One beautiful Saturday I told her I was going to run out to the airport and get in some practice approaches. I jumped on the bike, a Suzuki GSXR 1000, no helmet (Texas) and rode the 5 miles or so to the airport. Flew for an hour or so and then rode the bike home. As I walked in the door, she never said anything, but I got the feeling she'd been holding her breath the whole time I was gone. I knew for sure that both activities are more dangerous than most and I wasn't about to give up the flying. So I sold the bike. It's mitigated her fears quite a bit that I'm not out on the bike regardless of tshirt and no helmet or full race leathers and gear. And the Mooney is something we can enjoy together. 

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FIL was a great talk. Seemed like we connected and understood each other. MIL almost walked out on me and her daughter when "she had enough". We convinced her to stay and keep talking but reconciliation, let alone understanding doesnt seem likely. Oh well. Guess I'll just fly without her blessing.

Boy am I glad I dont let fear drive my decisions like she does. She said it was her instinct to lookout for her daughter (like Im not). I said my gut response out loud... "male alligators' instinct is to eat their young. Maybe instincts arent all that great after all."


 

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On 11/24/2017 at 8:49 AM, NJMac said:

Thanks to everyone who posted or messaged me. There is so much wisdom here that was volunteered freely; how awesome!

My wife and I prayed last night about our planned conversation with her father and step mother today. We're both obviously nervous about it but we're not going to let our fear hold us back like their fear is.

I didnt mention earlier, my father in law, mother in law, and late grandfather on their side were all pilots, probably 30 years since currency at this point. I honestly cant understand where their fears are coming from but hope to sometime today.

We brought our ipad to show them foreflight, duats, and may even call into 800 weather breifing to help them understand how serious I take flight planning. Since we wouldn't do the conference call, they emailed me their concerns. Almost half of the 12 bullet points came down to weather concerns.

I'll post an update after today with the FIL and probably Saturday we will see MIL.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

Semi-off/on topic here. This is just a dynamic in the family I cant understand. Not saying its bad, just foreign to me (and my family).  A conference call, emailed concerns, etc. I think if my family (or my wifes family) were worried all we'd get is a "oh crap, better be careful". 

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1 minute ago, NJMac said:


Boy am I glad I dont let fear drive my decisions like she does. She said it was her instinct to lookout for her daughter (like Im not). I said my gut response out loud... "male alligators' instinct is to eat their young. Maybe instincts arent all that great after all."


 

and... that made me spit up my drink

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Semi-off/on topic here. This is just a dynamic in the family I cant understand. Not saying its bad, just foreign to me (and my family).  A conference call, emailed concerns, etc. I think if my family (or my wifes family) were worried all we'd get is a "oh crap, better be careful". 
I basically told MIL that she needs to take her fears to God and leave me and her daughter alone to live our lives. Wasnt well received but frankly i cant relate to a parent meddling like she is.

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Just now, NJMac said:

I basically told MIL that she needs to take her fears to God and leave me and her daughter alone to live our lives. Wasnt well received but frankly i cant relate to a parent meddling like she is.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

You're better than me. My first reaction would start with "who do you think you....." and only get worse. Of course this would only be said in the presence of my wife, while I vent and then she tells me she agrees but asks me to meet in the middle. Good on you though. 

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Mention to your in-laws that flying, like many things in life, is about exercising good judgement.  If that doesn’t register, then say I think exercised good judgement in my marriage to your daughter, right!

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At the risk of being a party pooper I think the inlaws might be right this time. At 70 hours you haven't even had the chance to reach the apex of the statistical danger curve. You are not experienced enough to judge if you are experienced enough. With more experience you'll understand that. You'll also look back and say, wow I can't believe how inexperienced and confident i used to be and what risk i put my passengers in. 

The more argumentative/defensive you get about your flying only the more inexperienced it makes you look. I think most of the experienced pilots I know would be less reluctant to scrap a flight if necessary. The ability to be indifferent or at least less enthusiastic about the necessity of making a flight makes us better pilots. Gettheritis comes from the other side. 

Personally, I would suggest doing 200-500 hours of airplane flying and get an instrument rating before worrying about convincing people of your qualifications. When you're genuinely qualified, you won't have to. Then if the in laws are still grumbling, then they're being unreasonable.

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1 hour ago, NJMac said:

I basically told MIL that she needs to take her fears to God and leave me and her daughter alone to live our lives. Wasnt well received but frankly i cant relate to a parent meddling like she is.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

I'm going to take a different approach than most. While I agree that you and your wife should be free to live your lives as you wish, I would also caution against underestimating the damage that can be done to relationships by loved ones who sincerely believe they are trying to help. There can be hurt feelings on all sides leading to regret and remorse. 

I'm not siding with the parents by any means. I think they are wrong, they have spoken their mind and they should back off and let you and your wife live as you wish. (Heaven knows my wife and I have not always agreed with decisions made by our three oldest children and their spouses ...) However,  patience and a softer approach will likely make life more pleasant in the long run. Very rarely has any man come out on the winning side of a fued with a mother in law. 

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On ‎11‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 3:17 PM, gsxrpilot said:

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.

Actually statistically , it is not...

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