Invitation to Fly Takes a Nosedive

Received Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN Let me make this simple. My nanny (30 years old, been with us for 2 years) wants to take the kids on a plane ride with her husband, the pilot. My kids 4, 5, and 8 are very excited about the idea. My husband thinks we should be included in the invitation. What do you think? How much room is there in those tiny planes anyhow?


Question... said...

Do you all have a death wish?

oh well said...

I think your children should not have been invited.

MinuteMuggle said...


oh well: I agree: I think the parents should have been spoken to privately before the children were invited.

To the OP: why do you want to go: is it because you think it will be safer if you are there with them, or because you want to go for the fun of it?

Thanks: your post made me smile for the first time today. :) hehehehehehe

Lola said...

I completely understand you wanting to go. I don't even like my daughter to go for a long car ride without me. I somehow believe I will prevent any tragic accidents from happening if I am there.

On the other hand, I would probably NEVER want my child on a small plane. Even flying commercial, which I have to do several times a year, many times with my daughter, makes me nervous. Small planes seem to crash a lot. Probably a lot less than cars, which is logical to think they are fairly safe. But my nerves would be way too fraught to even go on a small plane myself, never mind my children!

On a different note, it would be a great adventure for your kids. It would be like a once in a lifetime fun experience. Maybe find out how experienced the plot is and the condition of the plane, how long the trip will be, the weather, etc. and factor all that in when making your decision. In all likelyhood it will be safe and fun. But, if it was me, NO way!

TC said...

Ok how long has he been a pilot? Does he own the plane? Does he fly commercially or is this just a hobby? How long will they be gone? Where will they go? Do you know the husband?

It depends on the plane as to how big it is, but I don't see why you guys weren't invited unless they plan on flying when you two are both at work...sort of like a field trip.

I would say NO unless the man is a commercial pilot with many years under his belt.

feetontheground said...

My husband used to fly a small plane and we could only fit 4 adults or two adults and three kids. I wouldn't want my kids to go without a parent, though. Maybe they could plan a trip for each kid, including parents?

Village said...

Are you prepared for the worst that can happen?

This is a true story. My SO had a sister who was married with one child. Her FIL had a plane. One Sunday he invited his son and my SO's sister, along with their child, my SO, and another one of FIL's sons to go flying. At the airport, a third son of the FIL showed up and wanted to go, so my SO was bumped off.

The plane crashed, and all died. The MIL lost her husband, all three of her sons, and a grandchild. Her whole family died.

My SO lost his sister and niece, and his father died shortly thereafter. His mother lost her mind, and was never the same again.

My SO never fully recovered. We are together because I had a similar tragedy in my childhood, (but not one involving a plane).

I think this is a terrible idea. I'd say thanks but no thanks, unless you can live (or die) with the worst that can happen.

There is nothing more dangerous than a small plane. Is a view from above that valuable to you?

Clo said...

Oh come on. There is plenty more dangerous than a small plane.

Tragedies happen, and they suck, and my heart goes out to all those who are touched by them.

But OP didn't ask to be lectured about whether or not she should let HER kids experience this. OP asked if the parents should be included and how many people can fit.

OP, I guess it depends why you want invited and when they want to go. If you want to go on with them, tell your nanny that. It is understandable to want to be with the kids on there.

Village said...

I guess it is just a question of how risk adverse you are.

does this moniker make my butt look big said...

unfortunately if we keep our children in bubbles,they learn to live in bubbles and miss out on many opportunities.Chances of children being taken out by a car accident,while being driven to school everyday by nanny,are much greater than going down in the plane.
Of course,find out all the details as someone above brought up. How much experience does nanny's hubby have etc..best of luck. It is hard letting go.
I think wanting to join them is pefectly natural.

Anonymous said...

Wow this sounds fun- for a 25 year old! Kids don't get what a difference a small plane ride is compared to a commercial plane. They'll likely hate it. I say pass on the invitation for 100 reasons .

Rikki Tikki said...

Small planes are far safer than commercial aircraft. Small planes can land safely on a small strip of land if need be. they can glide if the engines die out and often land safely without engine power.

That said TC made some very valid points.

As for the silly notion that you need to be prepared for the worst to happen then I suggest you be prepared for the worst to happen every time you or your kids get in a car because your odds of dying in a car crash are much higher.

She should have spoken to you privately before asking the kids that was improper.

If her husband has years of experience or military flight experience and the plane is safe don't deny them a great opportunity!

I myself am terrified to fly and have not done so for 20 years but I realize it's a stupid fear. When my daughter and husband had an opportunity to see Acadia National park from a Bi Plane I told them to go for it!

Best of luck!

geekgirl said...

My uncle flies small planes. It's very safe, but the planes he usually rents have only four seats. There are five and six-seaters, but they cost more to rent. If your Nanny's hubby owns a plane, it might be a four or five-seater and he can only take the kids.

If you and your husband want to go just because your husband thinks it sounds cool, that's sort of petty. (My dad would have been bummed if someone offered to take us kids in a plane when we were little, but didn't extend the invitation to him, but he'd be polite and get over it.) There's no rule of etiquette that requires one to invite the parents when you invite the kids.

If you think the kids would feel more safe/less afraid of a small plane if you were there or if you're a little anxious, that's another thing. Be honest about your motives and your kids maturity and then approach the nanny if you need to.

Lola said...

Rikki Tikki, is that a fact? Can you back that up? Because you may hear about a few commercial plane crashes a year, if that, yet much more often hear of small plane crashes (and often entire families perishing in them).

Not trying to argue, just want to know if you have statistics.

Lola said...

Also, I believe commercial aircraft are subject to stringent rules and regulations and regular inspections. I am not so sure that is true of privately owned planes.

sd said...

There are weight restrictions and a very limited number of seats on those small planes. I used to live in Alaska and would have to take either a 6 hour ferry ride to our small town from Juneau or a 30 min small plane. Even as a teenager those planes are very shaky, and very scary. Your kids might not enjoy it, so I would somehow get a realistic idea of how it would be.

If you think they will be safe on the plane and they will not freak out, then what is the big deal if they go on a short ride without you guys? If you think they will freak out then maybe it's not a good idea, otherwise, let them live a little. You are not going to prevent the plane from crashing or anything else.

Or you can just be straight up with your nanny and tell her that if your kids go, at least one of you has to go.

fox in socks said...

I would not do it. You know your own children, but I think they would be very scared without you, and this may not surface until the last minute or until it's too late to not do it. I know that my own children would be very scared and it would not be a good idea for them to do it.

It does seem strange that they invited the children without checking with you ahead of time to see if this is okay. This implies a lack of good judgement. A person with a lack of good judgement is the last one you want responsible for your three children when up in the air in a tiny plane.

Just my two cents.

M said...

Why not ask and say you and your husband would love to go as well. and make a fun day out of it. Sounds like it could be a great day for all. If anything say you and your husband want to go and watch.

l said...

I think the nanny sounds like my old nanny. I doubt the pilot is a boyfriend, more likely some mule who is going to help her squire the children off to another country so she can raise them in the way SHE SEES FIT!

freshmeat said...

"I said" . . . you've watched one to many 'Soaps'. Your assumptions and over zealous imagination, did give me a good chuckle though. I love how you automatically perceive her nanny to be some crazed illegal immigrant just chomping at the bit to smuggle children over the border. LOL Now, back to reality: Op stated that she has had this nanny for 2 years. I'm sure if 'said nanny' wanted to kidnap her charges she would have developed a far more brilliant scheme by now. Logically, I'd be far more likely to assume she invited these children because she's worked with them for 2 years, and has grown fond of them, thus wanting to share the experience and joy of flying with them. My boyfriend flies small non-commercial planes for a living (he teaches flight lessons, and charters for private companies) and I absolutely LOVE flying with him!
Talk about blowing a nice gesture WAY out of proportion people . . .

pick a name said...

I definitely agree that you should be not only included, but in charge of the childrens' behavior/supervision for the day.

NVMom said...

Sometimes it's not just the pilot's skill that's a factor. We just had a tragedy here in Nevada where a decorated military pilot crashed in a small plane, killing him and his three daughters. They are still trying to find out what went wrong with the plane but this was a very experienced pilot.

I'm not saying no one should ever fly small planes but it's hard not to think of these things.

WTF? said...

I don't think I'd allow this. It's not the most rational fear, maybe, but I wouldn't want to do this myself as I don't care for small planes. The children are so very young that I don't know that they'd really be missing out on all that much. It's not like they'll never have an opportunity yo do this when they're older. I have a 4.5 year old and I can't imagine him wanting to do something like this without his dad or me.

Nanny in Sandy Eggo said...

I think the nanny should have told you before she told the children. Now if you say NO, the children will of course hold is against you! Shame on her for selling it to them first.

I would not allow my children to ride a small plane. I know, I know...cars crash more often, maybe it is just a weird phobia...but I would not allow it.

world's best nanny said...

I think she should of asked you first. Now if the answer is no, you will be the party pooper. Small planes are quite safe. Are you going somewhere or just circling the airport/strip?
I can see the oldest child being excited,but I would think the youngest would want mom and dad with them, unless he/she idolizes the oldest and wants to do what he/she does. I would do what I always do. Say we'll see, give it a week and see if the excitement level has dropped off.

How do you know? said...

How do you know her boyfriend isn't a suicide bomber?

Vanessa said...

What? No. No, no no. Either the whole family goes or no one goes.

Regarding the post that said that there's more chance of dying on a car crash than on a plane crash, I agree but that's because there are far more automobiles in the world than planes, so really there is no comparison.

Second, even if there is a car crash there is more chance to survive it, while the chances in a small plane crash are slim to none. Also most plane crashes are because of engine problems; there's little to no control over that.

Again, I believe the whole family should go or at least a parent.

just thinking said...

Did anyone perhaps think that the parents are the ones that mentioned the plane trip to the children - not the nanny. Perhaps this nanny wants to take the kids for a 'field trip' of sorts. Don't assume she's 'crazy' to want to do this. She might have thought it would be something fun to do while the parents are at work.
I was a nanny for several years for the same family, the parents were great! I took them for 'field trips' over an hour away to museums, etc. It doesn't sound like this nanny is asking for any reason beyond kindness. Cut her some slack.

fox in socks said...

People are not saying the nanny is being unkind. They are saying there is a lack of judgement.

mom said...

Janet English said what I would have.
My kids would not be going and neither woudl I.
These days people fly commercially enough that a plane ride is not that big of an adventire, and certainly not somethign the child will never be doing if not for this once.
And, although I don't have actual statistics, my husband clerked for a lawfirm in So. California many years back who specialized solely in airplane crash cases. Since airline crashes in the news (private or commercial)seem fairly few and far between...and this is certainly not the only firm in the country to do this type of thing...how an entire firm could possibly sustain itself, let alone be lucrative, based on such a narrow field. His response was that that was what he had wondered until he started working there. he said that things happen far more than we would ever realize and that the vast majority of these small plane crashes never hit the media....and many are a one evening local news event if the plane happened to crash in a specific community, or maybe a local resident was lost in one.

So no, it's not a good idea for a kid to engage in this recreationally. Let this be done by an adult who can fully appreciate and accept the risks for themselves. Just like mountain climbing or hang gliding or parachuting. It's probably OK, but its just risky enough that I think it bears a parent giving pause.

Couldn't do it said...

If it were me, I wouldn't let my children go. Without taking time to google facts, smaller aircraft ARE more dangerous than larger commercial aircraft.

I work for a small regional airline, and the smaller the aircraft, the more weight sensitive and weather sensitive it is. Everything (fuel weight, pax weight, take off/landing distance) has to be calculated just so, and balanced just so or it will end in disaster. I can only imagine it must be even more important in personal aircraft.

I love to watch air shows, but could never fly in a small aircraft.

Anonymous said...

maybe she didn't think you'd want to go. or you'd enjoy some time away from the kids. OR as someone said, she plans on doing it as a fun "field trip" during the day. just ask her.