Apparently, the Colorado skies aren't so friendly.

Airplane and helicopter crashes killed more than 70  people in Colorado between 2014 and 2017. That's the fifth most fatal crashes in the nation during that period.

The reasons for the crashes range from intoxication and mechanical malfunction to human error, but a majority of the accidents happened in Colorado's high country.

Factors like quickly changing weather, high elevation, and mountainous terrain are some of the challenges faced by pilots in smaller aircraft. Add in other factors such as the influence of drugs and alcohol and inexperience and the results can be disastrous.

It's also interesting to note that during the same period nearly 2300 people died on Colorado roads. That would lead some to suggest that flying is safer than driving, and it might be. However, that's not necessarily true based upon those numbers. There is a larger number of traffic fatalities, but there is also a proportionately greater number of cars on the road than there are airplanes in the sky.

We have a lot of pilots in Colorado, estimated to be over 18,000. I understand the attraction of flying through the air, being in control of an aircraft, and seeing Earth from a completely different perspective. But, with great reward often comes great risk. Many would say the joy of flying is worth the risk, but, for me, I'm keeping my wheels on the ground.

I don't know what my end will be, but I can say for sure it won't happen with me in the cockpit of an airplane. That's just not going to happen.


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