kcashut, sorry to hear of your loss.
I truly respect pilots, especially those who fly professionally. My friend flies the Boeing-737NG for a major airline. It annoys me when the public think the plane "flies itself." If that were so, why would he come home from a trip dead-dog tired?
Another "great one" I often hear is that airplanes can "land themselves." There are so many components to a landing based on the standard operating procedure of the airline, the airplane, the weather, runway conditions, airport etc. My friend recently explained this to me - I was awestruck by the degree of sophisitication and interaction between pilot and airplane.
aceflys is correct about safety. Safety is paramount with pilots. The passengers seem to forget the flight crew also have loved ones at home.
easily distracted by shiny objects