As part of my presentation at Laughlin a few years ago, I talked about using small planes to create a regional cryonics service. Shortly after that talk, I finished some advanced pilot training and got my instrument rating so that I could be just a few hours from any patient in need, between Seattle and the Bay Area. I also got a pressurize plane certified for flight into known icing (FIKI) so that I could fly in nearly any weather.
Then, unfortunately, I gave up on the whole idea of flying. Here's why:
-I'm old enough (45) that my learning curve is too steep. Flying is something that should be learned when young.
-Maintenance costs are too high.
-Reliability is too low.
-I'm too busy doing other things.
-Not enough demand for services.
-Flights are too expensive: hundreds to thousands per flight, depending on distance.
-Payload is too low.
-Not safe enough.
In short, the only way to get a reliable effective system is to hire multiple full-time pilots, purchase multiple twin jets, and pay many hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to keep the operation running. Compared to all of that, a simple $200 commercial airline ticket starts to look very attractive. In my lifetime, I expect to see drones of different sizes taking over cargo operations, but I don't expect enough progress to be made to allow rapid passenger transport. If we want to provide decent cryonics service to Seattle and the Bay Area, we will need dedicated facilities, staff, and vehicles for those two regions. A facility in Salem is nearly useless to anyone living farther than a few hours away. We don't plan to provide "remote standby", so customers will need to come to Salem or to a dedicated branch facility prior to death if they want cryonics services.
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I tried. I really did. But every pilot I met seems to have a story of a crash. Engines fail for many different reasons. There are visibility issues. There are instrument issues. You can't just slow down and pull over if something goes wrong. The statistics are out there. The risk is acceptable if you restrict flying to clear sunny days in a familiar area. But once you start going longer distance and dealing with weather, it just doesn't pencil out.