I know their was one accident over Georgia but generally atp seems to have a good record of safety. Is this true? Is the risk small in small airplane flying?
ATP has a very good safety record, especially considering how large the flight school is. Sure, there have been mistakes, but we learn from them and move forward with new policies in place, just like the airlines do.
There is an inherent risk in flying small airplanes, but there is a risk in driving, or even walking down the road. Ironically enough for me, I was walking down a street in San Francisco nine years ago, I tripped over a curb and destroyed my ankle. Fast forward nine years and I have had two surgeries and am about to go in for my third. The point here is that anything can get you at anytime, even plain old walking.
While I agree with Chris that ATP has an excellent safety record, and yes there’s some risk in everything we do, flying a small plane is different. One of the definitions the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Authority, basically the FAA for the World) uses for pilots is a “risk manager”. If something goes wrong with your car, you simply pull over. Run low on fuel, pull into a gas station. Weather gets bad, again you can just stop. Big obstacle in front of you, step on the brakes. Not so in a small plane. You can’t just pull over, there are no brakes and no reverse. What that means is you must ALWAYS be well ahead of the airplane, always know where you are. always keep an eye on your systems and most important always have a place to land if you have to. Failure to do so will increase the risk considerably.
There’s a old very famous quote from the 1930’s that says "Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity, or neglect".
I just have one more thing to add. ATP was nationally recognized for its
commitment to safety last year.