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How To Help Someone Who Is Afraid To Fly?  
User currently offlineOmegous From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 293 posts, RR: 2
Posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5826 times:

Not sure if this would go in the civ aviation forum, of not move to appropriate location  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Anyway. My friend is driving her friends car down from Reno in a few weeks since her friend is moving here to Vegas. However, my friend has little choice but to fly back or not help her friend.

She has never flown before, and is deathly afraid of flying. She would not be worried if I went with her, but I a) Can't afford to pay for a flight at the moment and b) can't get the time off of work.

So, aside from going with her on her flight back (and then flying my butt home) which I would more than happily do, are there any other tips you guys might have?

Oh, and she has never flown before, thus the reason she is afraid. I wish I was finished with my PPL, then I could take her up for a spin and then she would not be as afraid (she would fly with someone she trusts).

[Edited 2003-02-21 07:59:35]

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineVonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4629 posts, RR: 36
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5803 times:

Play her some of the Cockpit Voice Recorder clips from www.airdisaster.com

 Big grin j/k



Word
User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5799 times:

I know actually three people from my pool of friends, relatives, colleagues etc who were afraid of flying. But once they had done their first flights, they loved it.

So, if in the case of your friend it´s just an obscure fear of the unknown, it´ll pass on its own. If it´s more deeply rooted you can still develop strategies to battle that after her first flight.

Daniel Smile


User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5794 times:

Oh, and she has never flown before, thus the reason she is afraid. I wish I was finished with my PPL, then I could take her up for a spin and then she would not be as afraid (she would fly with someone she trusts).

If you're really going to take her for a "spin", don't forget the parachutes  Smile



Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5790 times:

Here is a resource for you:

http://www.airdisaster.com/fearofflying/



Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineLordHowe From Finland, joined Jan 2003, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5784 times:

20 % of all the airline passangers are afraid of flying. Its very normal!

But there is a sollution - a cure to it. Many airlines organize courses for people with fear of flying. These courses usually take over one weekend - from Friday afternoon till Sunday evening and they are very good.

I attended AYs course for about ten years ago. I wasn't actually afraid of flying, but I felt uneasy and restless whenever in an airplane. The course took these feelings away.

The thing with these courses is that aviation professionals tell you all about flying and you get to know an airplane and what is happening in different stages of flying. Then you have opportunity step by step come closer to flying - first simulator, then in an airplane taxiing, then finally in Sunday evening you take a flight (about two hours) somewhere and then back home. Its amazing! Its wonderful and you get control over your feelings! I warmly recommend!

LordHowe



Lord Howe Island - The Last Paradise
User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5775 times:

I wish I was finished with my PPL, then I could take her up for a spin and then she would not be as afraid.


I'm sure a flight in a small single-engined tin box, rather than a warm comfortable airliner, would be just the thing to calm someone's nerves...  Big grin


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5757 times:

Whatever you do, don't have her check out this web site. I swear I have never seen such morbid fascination with airline crashes, aviation disasters, and what have you.

User currently offlineDemoose From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 1952 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5738 times:

Get them playing on flight sim! Thats what I think god rid of my fear of flying - once you know what is going on to make to plane get off the ground and then get back down again plus what all the noises are I think you realise how safe flying really is and you know what to expect.

Mark



Take a ride...fly across the sky
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 9, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5718 times:

Well,

I had a very similar problem, although it wasn't my first flight it was the first flight that I could remember, and I was really frightened (although I couldn't remember why). Anyway basically I just flew and it was ok. BUT, if your friend really has problems then I suggest you take her to the busiest airport you can find. Show her how many planes take off in a day, and that there is very rarely an accident, if she see's all these planes taking off without a hitch then she'll realize that not every plane that takes off crashes like they do in 'disaster' or 'black box' or whatever other programs there are on TV about air crashes!

Cheers

Dan


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4341 posts, RR: 35
Reply 10, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5697 times:

If she really doesn't want to fly by herself, has she considered taking the Greyhound bus back to Reno? Guess that only takes a couple of hours and will be about $25. But I would feel safer in an airplane  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2104 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days ago) and read 5674 times:

There is no cure for the fear of flying. Nor should she have her arm twisted. These days, a panic attack on an airliner could lead to another topic on Airliners.net: "Passenger Freaks Out And Attacks Cabin Crew" and federal charges. Let somebody else do it.







An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
User currently offlineLordHowe From Finland, joined Jan 2003, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days ago) and read 5666 times:

Yes there is!

Cure to fear of flying. I've been there and I know what I'm talking about. In the same course that I attended, there were several people who hadn't flown for a great number of years. But they were all with us on Sunday evening on a flight from HEL to CPH. And they all came back also. We had a meeting after six months and each and everyone of us had flown after the course also.

AYs web page tells about fear of flying:

"Fear of flying (flight phobia) is very common, it has been estimated that 7% of human population will not voluntarily travel by air, and 20% of all travellers suffer to some degree from fear of flying.

Most typical symptoms are anxiety, sweating, heart palpitation, trembling, irritability, unable to concentrate and sleep disturbances before travel.

Fear of flying is not an illness but an "unconscious" reaction of our body to an unnatural situation. There are many reasons, in some cases the feeling of not being able to control the situation causes the problem, sometimes a previous unpleasant flight experience may be in memory. Some people panic in a closed location.

Flight phobia is a learned reaction. Re-learning and accustoming our mental state to the unfamiliar will relieve us from the fear. Special courses are available, more information can be requested directly from the airlines."

Believe me - there is a cure!

LordHowe Smile




Lord Howe Island - The Last Paradise
User currently offlineQb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5653 times:

The psychotherapy to cure the fear of flying should be used only in the worst cases; that is if the phobia is detrimental to your quality of life. Otherwise, one can talk to his/her doctor and ask the doctor to get a prescription for a "calming" pill. Most doctors will agree to that.

I once had to fly with a colleague (BTV-SLC, with a stop at JFK) who claimed he was "scared to death" about flying and had the bright idea to get a prescription for some of these pills. He took one before boarding at BTV and he was fine (although I feared for a moment that he would faint on me before boarding...). Everything went fine, despite a kangaroo landing at JFK. On the way back, he didn't even take a pill and he was fine as well.

This is only to say that sometimes the fear of flying is only minor and can be cured very easily.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineROLEX01 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5643 times:

Take them sky diving... That usually helps.

User currently offlineCaetravlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 909 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5622 times:

What I think it boils down to, as someone mentioned above, is taking that first commercial flight. I never had a problem with it because my Mom and I flew all over the place when I was about 4, which is why I still to this day have such a love for commercial aviation 26 years later.

However, my ex-fiance's story is pretty interesting. She used to have the very same fear of flying. What she did was planned a flight somewhere, and got pretty drunk (not saying this is the best way, but it worked for her), and then took her trip. Can you believe that she has now been a UAL F/A for 7 years? Once you do it once, I think you are fine. I highly recommend taking that first trip on a larger mainline aircraft though. The Jetstreams that fly for United Express out of IAD can rattle even the most seasoned of travellers! (That would be me!)

Regards,
CAETravlr



A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5613 times:

Tell them to enjoy a couple of margaritas in the airport before she takes off  Big grin


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5614 times:

So how much are these "fear of flying" courses where they take you on a flight on Sunday night?


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineMarkk From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5598 times:


Try both of these communities

www.fearofflying.com

and

www.fofc.com

Both are professional sites dedicated to helping people afraid of flying. Both have commercial airline pilots on the message boards. fearofflying.com has daily chats between fearful fliers. I am sure your friend can find one or both of these systems very usefull


User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5595 times:

Whatever else you do, try not to pressure your friend. Offer suggestions, but remember that the final decision is hers and hers alone. She simply might not be ready to fly just yet. If so, that doesn't mean that she never will, but let her decide.


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineMD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (11 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5593 times:

Offer to drive your friend.

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