Sigh… From the New York Times Book Review. A case of information irresponsibility, statistics-and-probability division.
Heller flew 60 bombing missions between May and October 1944, a feat that should have killed him three times over, statistically speaking, since the average personnel loss was 5 percent per mission.
Reality: A pilot’s chances of surviving 60 such bombing missions is about 4 percent. Was there no one in the editorial process who perceived the silliness of being killed “three times over, statistically speaking?”
Being realistic: I don’t expect everyone to be facile with simple statistics and probability. But I expect writers and editors to know their limitations. If you’re going to write (or publish) a statistical claim, ask someone competent to check it for you.