On the Irrationality of Joy-Riding in Helicopters
James Fallows, I'm glad to see, agrees that it's always a bad idea to fly in helicopters when you don't have to:
If you've studied aerodynamics, you know that airplanes "want to stay in the air" -- if the engine fails, they turn into gliders, not plummeting objects. Helicopters "want to fall out of the air" -- yes, despite the limited ability to "autorotate" and avoid a direct plummet. I respect people who fly them, which is harder than flying airplanes. But I keep a respectful distance.