Letters to Media

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Letter to The Charlotte Observer

Mr. Lew Powell
Opinion Page Editor
The Charlotte Observer
600 S Tryon St
Charlotte, NC 28202-1842

Dear Editor:

Scaring people about flying aboard general aviation aircraft may help sell newspapers, but a recent Charlotte Observer article (“Danger of small planes has politicians uneasy,” May 14) did readers a disservice in misrepresenting the true safety record for the industry.

For instance, the story referenced charter flights without ever mentioning that charter operators’ emphasis on safety is the reason charter aircraft fly hundreds of thousands of hours each year without incident, making them safer than other transportation modes, including automobiles.

Qualifications for charter pilots are comparable to those for the airlines, including minimums for training and flight-time experience. The facilities that provide charter pilot training programs are comparable those for airline pilots, and flight time limits and rest requirements for charter pilots are more stringent than those for the airlines.

Flights aboard charter and other general aviation aircraft are safe, and it’s unfortunate your readers were led to believe otherwise.


Ed Bolen

President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association