Ken Butler's thoughts on statistics and risk.

Stats are nice. They are even helpful. No doubt a number of people 
stopped smoking because the stats have proven that it is dangerous. 
Same for not having sex with anyone other than one's own spouse. 
Stats can prove that is dangerous too. But stats aren't the real 
reasons I personally don't do these things. I think I am motivated in 
many cases to do something, or not to do something, by two things. 
One: Is it interesting and fun? (this usually involves challenge)
Two: Is there some personal improvement, as a result?
(often in that order - much to Mar's dismay... :-) )

But back to ppc stats. I'd say they'd prove that flying a ppc is more 
dangerous per hour than some other forms of transport. But then, have 
we considered them all? I don't know how ppcs fare statistically when 
compared to things like motocross bikes, snowmobiles, quads, and 
A person may want to check this out. If they stacked these other 
things, and countless other things like skate boards, roller blades, 
bikes, etc. up against cars and GA aircraft, ferries, and other forms 
of common transport, a person may come up with an interesting graph.

I suppose we could also class it statistically with other active 
recreational activities, as to risk. e.g.. hunting, (getting lost or 
hurt), sailing, fishing, football, hockey, track, rodeo, gymkhana, 
auto racing, skiing, golfing, mountain climbing, etc.

I suppose there are some that would take comparison charts of 
activities like these and draw a line down a risk analysis graph and 
say, I'll do any of the activities on this side of my acceptable risk 
line and I won't do any activities on this side of the line.

I think this is a good way to shop for a computer.

Personally, I can't think that I'd let theoretical stats determine my 
direction if I wanted to fly a ppc unless I had indications that 
flying a ppc had a really really bad stats. Even with the fairly safe 
stats that we can theorize for ppc safety, they are of limited 
comfort to me as I think about flying my Sixchuter.

The possibility will always exist that you may hurt yourself. Though 
I don't think it's a frighteningly large risk, it is there. In 
reality, in a successful flight, it is a large part of the thrill.

I still feel buzzy as I even consider heading for the field.

A number of factors cause this feeling.
1. I am susceptible to motion sickness.
2. It takes me a while to not feel pretty nervous if working at 
heights, like on a roof or a ladder, or a scaffold, etc.
3. I have heard and read the stories of those who have been hurt or 
killed while flying ppcs and other similar craft.
4. I am not perfect, and may make a mistake. (Fortunately for me, not 
all mistakes are fatal as I have made a few. Thank goodness ppcs are 
more forgiving than some other forms of flight.)
5. I don't think of myself as recklessly courageous.
6. I am not large, and I am sorry to say, not in great shape.
7. I am not very experienced.

Why did I take this up?
- Well, part of me wanted to see if I had what it took, and what it 
continues to take, to fly.
It takes a certain amount of guts to rig up a ppc, check everything, 
sit in it, bring that chute up, and put the hammer down. It checks me 
out. The guts this takes is recognized by some people. These people 
look at me differently because they know I do this.
- Part of me likes to do the unusual. Not everyone does this.
- I like to give others a thrill. It is neat to stop traffic.
- I like to learn new things. I continue to learn new skills, 
increase my knowledge base, and learn things about myself.
- I didn't know it would do this when I took it it up, but it has 
increased my circle of acquaintances, and even friends. It has added a 
new set of possibilities for social interactions with others. Both on 
the list and locally. This is a neat thing.
- It has opened up some different views of the world.
- It gives me an excuse to get out of house or yard work, on occasion.
- It allows me to tinker a bit.
- It gives me excuses to spend some of my very limited money on 
- I'm big on recreational fun...

I think if you are going to do this, you should look at it like you 
would if you were going to buy a boat. There may be limited times you 
will get to use it. You run some risks, but for the most part they 
are acceptable for the activity that it is. It is NOT as safe as 
playing whist.

So, if you think it would be fun to go for a ride in the sky now and 
then, see "the other side of the lake from the water" so to speak, 
and you can see that a lot of people are riding the sky and living to 
tell the tale, and you want to be one of them, then all it takes is 
money and training and guts.

I hope you have a safe, long, and wonderful life, whatever you decide.