Ikarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1112 times:
I suppose the best advice is to relax and enjoy the fun. But for those people afraid of flying, there's either expensive "fear of flying" courses or no cure at all. My flatmate is a bad case, and nothing I told her could convince her of the safety of flying....
So, should I give her some Ryanair tickets for christmas?
Captain.MD-11 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 704 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1101 times:
What's changed? Why don't you love flying now?
Planes fly because the laws of physics allow them to, they don't get up there by magic and a but of luck! Take-offs should be enjoyed I can't say that there isn't a slight risk of something happening because there is a risk, as with anything that you do in life! At take-off even if an engine failed etc the Pilots are trained week in and week out to deal with that situation. They can either choose to RTO (reject take-off) or proceed, depending on the situation and the GS (ground speed) of the aircraft. Only you can conquer your fear all I can say is, that flying is an amazing thing and should be enjoyed by all. Those who are worried, I feel sorry for cause they are missing out on something very special! Good luck
Twins,twins, everywhere.... but where are the three holers?
Smoberly From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1101 times:
I'm worst with takeoffs, which used to be my favorite part of flying. I can't stand the sensation of going fast and leaving the ground....the noises make me sick to my stomach and I get this brain-mashing fear that I'm going to die, especially when I get the sensation of falling backwards (I still don't understand how this happens or why) and when the plane keeps banking and banking and banking on its way out of the flight path from the airport. I can't stand the pitch of the nose being so severe and I can't stand the constant lurching and pitching....I'm getting dizzy even thinking about it. About an hour into the flight I'm able to calm down a little, even fall asleep, but I'm wide awake at the first minor jostle. I do most of my flying from the UK to the US and back and flying over the North Atlantic is nauseatingly turbulent. Every sense is on alert, smelling for smoke, feeling for pieces peeling off the plane, tasting the panic that I feel while people around me are totally relaxed. I HATE them. When I was a kid I used to fight and beg for the window seat so I could watch the ground drop away at takeoff. I hated the middle of the flight because it was so boring.....I always loved landings (still do because it means the bloody flight is over) because there was so much to look at. Now, I'm content to not sit next to a window but I think it probably would help because while I'm panicking and hyperventilating, I can't actually SEE what's outside the plane window and see that everything's getting smaller and that everything's cool. Maybe I SHOULD sit next to the window....but then I couldn't hold the flight attendant's hand at takeoff, which I ALWAYS have to do. My last flight was in April on BA to the UK from DFW and I had my worst panic attack yet. I actually started to scream, "We're going down, we're crashing, it's NOT OK, I don't want to die," etc. I was really freaking out the other passengers, needless to say, and the flight attendant was as calm and soothing as she could be. If it wasn't for her I am sure I would have had a heart attack. Now I'm scared that I can't even have the requisite panic attack because of 9-11 because people will think I'm up to something. I'm the LAST person who wants the plane to crash, BELIEVE ME.
After we touch down in Houston I have to turn right around and get on ANOTHER plane to take us to Dallas. I'm almost certain that I'll chicken out and rent a car and DRIVE to Dallas, where I'll chain-smoke the entire week and have an absolutely miserable week, knowing that on 26 December, I have to turn around and take 2 planes BACK to London.
EGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 37 Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1081 times:
Yup, when i was frightened to fly (ages ago, i might add) i found, that when i first flew it was that falling backwards feeling that i didn't like. When i didn't know it was going to happen, i thought we were going to stall and crash.
All it is is after takeoff, the pilots lay off the full thrust, down to about 60% normally, and take a lesser angle of attack, that is what you feel, the relaxation of thrust and the change in angle.
Best advice - go with a good friend, who you feel confident with.
Ikarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1074 times:
You get the sensation of falling backwards if you sit behind the wing, because that's what the fuselage does on rotation. It's stronger if the plane is long. There's nothing quite like sitting in the last few rows of a 747!
So on check-in, ask the agent to sit on the wing (or better yet: ahead of it. My parents swear that turbulence is less severe the further to the front you sit... although I personally doubt that). Maybe consult a doctor and ask for some pills to calm you down. It would make flying safer and more enjoyable for yourself and the people around you...
PS: Should you chicken out, just give the ticket for the flights to America to me! Just kidding...
Brains From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 256 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1074 times:
You'll be fine, many people have the same problem. You wouldn't be the first person I've heard scream in fear during a take off. MAybe you should sit in the aisle or close the window shade and sit back, relax, and tell yourself that everything will be fine. People fly every day without any problems. Take some dramamine before you get on the plane and that'll help you sleep as well as prevent any motion sickness. You'll do just fine. Good luck, and try to have an excellent trip!
Smoberly From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1071 times:
I suppose I should say how I developed the fear...first a little background. My grandfather (father's father) was a pilot in World War II....he piloted the flying fortresses that bombarded Germany. After the war he settled into a nice predictable career selling insurance, but my father (his son) was bitten by the aviation bug and got his license in the late 1960s. My father never flew anything but single-engine planes and I don't even know what his rating was....I doubt even HE could remember. When I was growing up I thought the world of my grandfather and father and wanted to be a pilot just like them. I didn't care that I was a girl....my father's cousin is now VP of Southwest Airlines and I knew I had someone to guide me along the way and give me advice. I wanted to be a pilot until I was about 16-17 and was told that I would never be tall enough to pilot commercial jets. I wasn't even afraid to fly after seeing the wreckage of a Delta flight at DFW in 1985 (I was only ten) or after making an emergency landing at La Guardia in 1989, something that kept my mother out of the air for years while she popped Valiums whenever she even THOUGHT about flying. I figured I would get a pilot's license as an adult and fly as a hobby, but all that changed on July 17, 1996.
July 17, 1996 was the day TWA 800 exploded. It was also my 21st birthday. I was getting ready to go out for a night on the town and heard the news flash on TV. I couldn't stop thinking about that flight, especially when they showed the animated bits on TV of how the front probably blew off and the plane kept climbing for a little while before falling into the Atlantic. I had nightmares about that. I knew that I would probably develop a phobia if I didn't get back into the air (at that time it had been about 2 years since my last flight) so I booked a weekend in San Diego that October. That flight was horrid....I was nervous and sweaty the whole time and I couldn't relax, but it got worse over the years. The flight I had to take to and from LAX in March 2000 was really bad....I remember crying and clawing at the window of the MD80 that took us from LAX to Austin and as we took off over the water, continuously ringing the call button, pointing out the window, and asking the flight attendant if what I was seeing was normal (we were banking over water). The flight I took to the UK in November 2000 was also very bad....I panicked and had an asthma attack. While we were still climbing (maybe 10 seconds after we left the ground) I was out of my seat and rummaging in the overhead bin for my inhaler. It sucked. The flight to the UK in April 2001 was the absolute worst. I'm surprised BA didn't ban me because my panic attack was so severe. I cried the whole damn way.
This is tearing my life up because I like to travel and I don't want to be trapped my whole life. Fear of flying is ruining my life.
Captain.MD-11 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 704 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1050 times:
It sounds pretty bad, I feel for you Smoberly . I have never had a fear of flight so I don't know what your going through. People say however the best way to overcome a fear is to understand it. You wanted to be a Pilot, so read up about flight gain knowledge about how the plane actually gets airbourne etc It may help and reduce your fear? Accidents shake us all up but I suppose it effects all of us differently. Good luck
Twins,twins, everywhere.... but where are the three holers?
Serge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1045 times:
Very sorry to hear this, but I assure you nothing will happen!
I love that "falling" feeling on take off and when you begin your descent, it makes me feel warm and tingly! And listening to Channel 9 on a UA aircraft, I always hope we hit the moderate chop the other pilots are talking about
Bacardi182 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1088 posts, RR: 1 Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1022 times:
maybe try getting an intro flight at your local flight school. An instructer will tell you what to do and you will actually be at the controls during take off. Maybe you will feel better if you are in control? That will get your confidence way back up to where is should be about flying. After actually doing teh flying in a small cessna, you won't be so afraid on a boeing. Also get a direct flight to dfw, it would be easier.
Bhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 896 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 991 times:
Good Day Smoberly..I sounds to me that you truly have a deep seated phobia..I would try to get into one of the "fear of flying" counseling sessions..If you travel for your job (which I do) it may be covered by your employers health insurance (mine was). As all of the other fellows have said, flying is truly a wonderful thing. And if you travel for your job and refuse to fly, it could cost you your job...
AA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5546 posts, RR: 11 Reply 15, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 966 times:
I think that most of these things are psychological. I find that my fears are. If I go into and say, "I am NOT getting anxious about this or that" then it helps. But the minute I let down my guard, and let the fear start to set in, then I have problems. So, here's what I do. Breathe deeply and slowly. And push the "scared" routine out of your mind.
Also, my biggest advise is to NOT take pills or alcohol before a flight. Being relaxed is great, but we would all admit that a "relaxed" brain is not what you need for flying. Were there to be an emergency, I want to be as with-it and cognisant as possible. The will to survive has gotten many humans to miraculous escapes, and to think that you might take all of that away with a Vallium.
Other thoughts.... um.... oh, my advice is to sit near the wing. In my experience- and I think I can substantiate it- is that there is less turbulence there, AND takeoff is smoother. Also, I like watching flaps/slats/spoilers/thrust reversers. As the plane flexes during turbulence, the part near the wing moves up and down the least, while the tips-front and back both- of the plane move the greatest. Like cracking a whip, kind of.
What else..... drink plenty of water. Get up and walk around as soon as the sign goes off. It relieves the confined feeling we get.
I am more fearful on landings than takeoffs, but that is not in line with what pilots tell me, so I will keep my mouth shut.
The fear of flying is both understandable and not. It's unnatural- that's why it is understandable. But, it's very safe. How many times have you been told that you are far more likely to die on your way to the airport than in the airplane? It's true, even though it's old news.
My only other advise is to just relax, breathe deeply, think slowly, and really concentrate on that mental thing. Don't let fear take over your body. It's good to have some fear saved up- it might save your life- but not when it gets out of hand.
Pilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 12 Reply 16, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 937 times:
Whenever I sit next to people, I always tell them that I'm a pilot (I don't usually tell them that I'm still a private pilot -- just "unemployed"). Usually that helps comfort them.
I think sitting next to someone who has aviation experience helps some people. On my trip home this Thanksgiving, for example, the woman I was sitting next to told me, "thank you for being there, it was really comforting."
I usually run them through what the pilots are doing and how they're doing it. I tell them that it's all normal and that some procedures call for that sharp bank to the left. Then I go on to tell them interesting facts about aviation. I usually see a very visible sign of relief on their faces. This means that I have sit calmly and set an example, one that I'm proud to set.
I think the problem most people have is that they don't know who's "driving the ship" and thus they get a little apprehensive about not being in charge.
If you talk to me, I'll be happy to work you through your fear. I'm always happy to be of service to people. If you want to IM me, I'm Pilot1113 on AIM.
Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 33 Reply 17, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 923 times:
...professional help, expensive or not. What good is the cheap method, trying to ignore your fear on the ground and as soon as you board an aircraft, you go completely crazy.
The state you are in, is quite common, just last week I read some statistics, that about ONE THIRD of all people that frequently fly, do have some fear of flying. So I guess there is professional help for you, just don't ask me where.
Anyway, good luck to you and maybe if you've worked something out, just tell us about it (actually I don't think you're the only one on this forum).
btw: To all you supermachos who fear nobody and nothing: Just don't forget, that you may be born fearless, but neuroses and psychoses do develop at any given time during your life. Next time it might be you!
YKA From Netherlands, joined Sep 2001, 766 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 909 times:
My mom also dislikes flying and she finds that if she sits in the middle row it makes her feel more at ease. Personaly I would have suggested an inflight cockpit visit and a chat with the pilots but since 9/11 I dont think that is really an option. Maybe try to poke your head into the cockpit before takeoff and say hi. At least seeing the pilots may help aleviate you fears at least a little. You could also as the doctor for some anti anxitey pills which I bet could help calm you down..
737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 41 Reply 20, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 908 times:
Not to be unsympathetic or anything, but I am almost offended by your post. I said 'almost'. Let me explain why...
We in the aviation industry are professionals. Pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, ground support...we are all here to make sure that you make it safely from Point 'A' to Point 'B'. No one hands out the necessary licenses and certifications to the men and women who fly and maintain the aircraft on which you travel; we had to earn those. And once we earn them, the training never stops, we constantly receive recurrent training in order to ensure that we perform our jobs at the highest level of safety.
Every day that I go to work, I strive to do the best job that I possibly can. Safety is, has been and always will be number one. I put my reputation and livelihood on the line every time I write my employee number in the sign-off block. In addition, I would never hesitate to put my wife and children on any of the aircraft that I repair. All of my co-workers feel the same way.
True, accidents happen, but commercial aviation remains one of the safest modes of transportation around. You run a greater risk of being killed driving to the airport.
Having said all that, I sincerely hope that you overcome your fear. It is obviously making your life difficult.
Aerialpingpong From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 103 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 900 times:
Here's an idea for you. Do you have access to a computer? If so you might seriously consider getting one of the good flight-simulation-programs (e.g.Microsoft Flight Sim Professional Edit.) It can teach you a lot about flying. You don't even have to learn how to fly a plane with it, but if you read the parts explaining about the principles of flight, 'Victor' Airways (the 'freeways' that jetliners use) and navigation it will probably help you a lot. It also explains 'holding patterns' (basically circling over a point to wait for spacing) which is one of those situations where you might be turning continuously over water.
I can also recommend the Jeppesen Sanderson Private Pilot ground school materials. The reading can be a little bit dry at times, but it will show you the basics of flying, and basic safety skills. It also discusses medical factors and the sort of sensations you experience during the various phases of flight.
One thing you could do is before you go on a trip, try to obtain some Navigation Charts for your route (Sporty's Pilot shop is a good place to look. Don't know if they have a website, or your local flight school might be able to get them for you). Get both the Instrument chart, and! the Visual Flight Rule (VFR) Sectional Chart. You can have a look and see the different navigation options your pilots will have, and what landmarks & bodies of water they're likely to fly over.
Best way to overcome your fears completely is to maybe get your private pilot's license eventually. That way you know pretty much exactly what these dudes and dudettes are up to in the flight deck
This tumbling feeling is your inner ear playing tricks with you. And yup, as stated above it can be better or worse depending on where you sit on the plane. In the tail of a 747 it can be quite amusing, since 1.) you feel you're tumbling backward, and 2.) for a few seconds (on rotation)the ground is actually coming closer to you, until you start to climb.
One bit of advice, if you have a heavy head cold when flying and you're sinuses are congested (maybe with migraine) I recommend either taking a strong!! decongestant before take-off, or avoid blowing your nose during the climb. I made that mistake on a BA 757 from LHR to BRU in 1995. I'd gone for a visit to Oxford Air Training School and got a flu in the process. My head was stuffy (felt like a Thanksgiving turkey to be honest), I blew my nose at full force, and all of a sudden everything in front of my eyes started spinning, my sense of up & down vacated the premises and it was rather worrying. Took almost the whole damn flight for my senses to return to normal which in your case wouldn't help matters too much.
Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 33 Reply 23, posted (12 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 878 times:
I'm quite sure you do your best in your job, the same goes for me and probably everybody else, too. Yet aircraft crash, sometimes because of human error or human evildoing.
But, the problem lies elsewhere:
Fear of flying is never based on the fact, that the one whose fear of flying we are talking about does believe the plane will crash, because this flight is the one amongst millions, that has to crash out of statistical reasons.
The fundamental reasons of neuroses and psychoses are very complex and quite often have nothing to do with the thing that is feared. Let me give you a simple but unscientific example: Some guy wakes up in the morning with a splitting headache. During breakfast he burns his mouth on some too-hot coffee and on TV he sees the WTC collapsing after being hit by an aircraft. Two weeks later, said guy boards an airplane and finds himself shivering from fear of flying.
The main problem -as I understood it- is the fact that you are completely helpless, strapped down in your seat, knowing that you can do nothing, absolutely nothing, if a catastrophe is about to happen.
So, don't take fear of flying personal, it is not meant that way.
Therefore all advice to smoberly about how safe flying is compared to other means of transportation is well-meant but completey useless, I'm afraid.
Smoberly From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (12 years 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 867 times:
That's right, Andreas. I've read all about how well-trained pilots, flight attendants, and aircraft mechanics are. I'm always sure that I'll get the statistical anomaly...the pilot who had a row with his wife, got drunk, didn't sleep well, and is bleary-eyed and not ready to fly that day. I KNOW they say that they don't allow pilots to fly in that condition, but they must slip through the net occasionally. I'm always sure I'll get the plane where a mechanic left a spanner in the engine and it will blow when *I* am on the plane. I'm always sure I'll get the plane where the de-icing equipment doesn't work, the wings ice up, and we have a nice graceful spiral into the North Atlantic.
I KNOW all about pilots. I'm related to three of them, one of whom is an executive (and pilot) for one of America's major airlines. Some of my best friends have been pilots, including a man whose childhood best friend now pilots the Concorde for British Airways. I grew up steeped in the airline industry and fascinated with planes. I LOVED flying. It KILLS me that I've developed this fear because it's keeping me away from something that I used to love. It tears me up inside....so be insulted all you like, but that's not going to make my phobia go away.
In the meantime, we (my husband and I) are going to cancel our flight tomorrow for many reasons, but the major reason is my inability to reconcile the thought of flying....I'm not trying to pretend that it's because of the house we're buying (close date is 48 hours before our flight) or because of my recent illnesses and hospitalisation for a bladder disorder. It's because I'm a chicken, and I'll admit it. We'll probably be screwed in terms of a refund but honestly I couldn't care less....all I know is that I am immensely relieved to not have the prospect of another hellish flight on the horizon.
I plan to take a fear of flying course and continue with therapy that I've been taking on a weekly basis to overcome my phobia. I have tried Valium and other tranquilisers, they don't work. I managed to have a full-on panic attack on four tablets of Valium (technically, I should have been unconscious) and drinking only makes me jumpier. (I normally stay FAR away from alcohol.)
If anyone has any information about British Airways' fear of flying course, or even Aer Lingus, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know that this isn't REALLY the appropriate forum for discussing this and I don't want to waste forum space with my chickenshit rantings.
25 Apuneger: Hi, I really feel sorry for you, because flying is one of the happiest things I've ever done in my entire life. To be honest, I feel more safe in an a
26 Smoberly: I'm afraid I've done all that, Ivan. I've read book after book about flying. I've discussed flying with my cousin who is an executive at Southwest Air
27 Andreas: So, all things considered, the example I told 737doctor in an earlier posting, seems to fit you all too well. Then we are talking about psychosis. Tho
28 Banco: I don't think it's for any of us to say whether a fear of flying course would help or not, but it may do. I had a quick look on the BA website to see
29 Andreas: ...right, but, assuming the health care system in UK does work similar to the one here in Germany, it would be a lot cheaper to go see an expert on ph