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Advice For A Nervous Flyer  
User currently offlineTimePilot From Switzerland, joined Sep 2005, 296 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 15223 times:

I feel like a dummy posting this since so many people are afraid to admit they're afraid of flying. And why would a nervous flyer enjoy an aviation forum so much?

But, as they say, admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.

I have a flight coming up tonight @10pm: NGO > GUM on JAL. Setting aside JALs recently safety errr, "issues", flying in general makes me nervous. Specifically take-off and turbulence.

By 'nervous' I mean 'nervous', not ripping up the arm rest or running around the cabin frothing at the mouth, just a general feeling of discomfort.

Can anyone give me some advice, anecdotes, etc (besides fear of flying websites)? For example I've read stories from pilots where they say turbulence is not a big deal at all, and it's just another day on the job, etc.

Any help appreciated

Sorry, if this is in the wrong forum can it please be moved?

[Edited 2005-10-07 03:06:42]

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 15224 times:

Stasistically speaking.Flying is the Safest means of Transport.Aircraft have Build in backups to avoid a problem.
A few links should help.
LINK1
LINK2
LINK3
LINK4
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3390 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 15219 times:

"Accept your limitations, and they are yours."

One of the truest statements I can think of, and I've had several situations where I thought I couldn't do something but I kept telling myself "accempt your limitations and they are yours" and I managed to do whatever it was I thought I couldn't. Basicly, believe that you can make the entire flight without being nervous, and theres a chance you will.



CanadianNorth



What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 44
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 15212 times:

Realistically, our bodies weren't built for flying through the air near the speed of sound, in a pressurized metal tube, seven miles above the earth.

It's normal to be a little creeped out, but a major phobia can make it nearly impossible to fly. I've managed to rationalize most of my fears away, but spending a lot of time here and spotting planes taking off an landing for hours at a time out at the airport gave me plenty of anecdotal evidence, too.


Good luck!
redngold



Up, up and away!
User currently offlineAviation From Australia, joined Dec 2004, 1143 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 15196 times:

They actually believe flying is the safest thing you could ever do!

At first you will be scared or startled everyone is. But after a while just enjoy the experience!

The thing I think that makes everyone feel sick on a flight is the new sensations you feel like moving through thin air and your gut drops but after a while you expect it and get used to it.
I think the worst thing you can do though is not face your fear like keeping the window shut. Look out lean against it and you will eventually learn to trust it.

Just a bit of my advise for you.




Thanks,
Aaron J Nicoli



Signed, Aaron Nicoli - Trans World Airlines Collector
User currently offlineTimePilot From Switzerland, joined Sep 2005, 296 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 15189 times:

I've flown many, many, many times in the past. I fly about 3-6 times a year, but I always get nervous before going. Take-off is the most frightening I guess, along with turbulence. I came back from the US in August this year and my return flight from ORD was not at all fun. It was bumpy a lot of the way, with "moderate" turbulence mixed in. I was glad to be back on Terra Firma after that 13 hour stretch.

There's a line from airfraid.com that's interesting:

Quote:
JETS MOVE UP AND DOWN LESS THAN AN INCH IN TURBULENCE

I've never heard that before. The website says it's true though.  scratchchin 


User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 15182 times:

Quoting TimePilot (Reply 5):
JETS MOVE UP AND DOWN LESS THAN AN INCH IN TURBULENCE

Not unlike a car going down a bumpy road then?

I bet you don't feel nervous when you are in a car or a bus so why should an aeroplane be different?

I think that with a lot of people its psychological. They maybe didn't enjoy their first flight so they worry about the next and the problem is compounded. If you stop and think that maybe it wasn't that bad after all, the next flight might be more comfortable.


User currently offlineNoelg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 15169 times:

Everytime I find myself on an airliner and wondering why I'm there and if I should be afraid, I find it helps to use a little reverse psychology.

I sit there and think how many times aircraft don't crash, how many millions of flights there are a day without a hitch. How the aircraft I'm sitting on has been flying for years without a single problem. Why out of all the millions of flights happening all the time, am I naive enough to think it might be my flight that has a problem.

Putting it into perspective like that helps me calm down!


User currently offlineJush From Germany, joined Apr 2005, 1636 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 15158 times:

I can't help you much. Although i love planes and aviation i always was scared of flying itself. Don't know why. Maybe cause i didn't do it very often and what you aren't used to makes you frightened or nervous.
But nowadays i do love flying again. Some thins still stir me up but i can calm down easily. What changed my mind? Can't tell ya but i hope the same thing will happen to you some time in the future and maybe on your next flight.

Regards
jush



There is one problem with airbus. Though their products are engineering marvels they lack passion, completely.
User currently offlineTimePilot From Switzerland, joined Sep 2005, 296 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 15145 times:

Jush thanks for the kind words. I was thinking the same myself; one day I'll wake up and not be afraid anymore.

I used to love flying as a kid, then I got scared once because we had a really rough flight. For a while I was good again, then for some reason the fear kicked in again.

I'm actually sitting in Centrair as I type this. What a beatiful airport! Good to see my tax money went to something like this.  bigthumbsup 

I'm 2 hours away from departure, and the weather here isn't nice at all; it's been raining since this afternoon.

Oh well, I'll see everyone when I get back on Monday then.

Thanks for all the advice!!  airplane 


User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 15002 times:

Looks like my advice won't get to you before you leave... or come back, but may I suggest a ride in the left seat so you can see first hand what is going on during the various phases of flight? I don't know how it might work in Japan, but next time you find yourself in the U.S. just go to any flight school or FBO that rents out planes. They'll happily send you up for 1/2 to 1 hour for not much cash, let operate the various systems, take you through pre-flight etc. Well, some days you might not be able to find much in the way of turbulence, but if you can make a safe takeoff in a cessna 172 I think you'll be much more confident taking off aboard an airliner piloted by someone with well over 1500 hours of flight time! And if you do find some turbulence to fly through, well all the better!

Have fun, and I wish you safe, happy flying!
Jeff


User currently offlineAviation From Australia, joined Dec 2004, 1143 posts, RR: 21
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 14981 times:

You won't read this in time either but anyway.

ENJOY YOUR FLIGHT!


Thanks,
Aaron J Nicoli



Signed, Aaron Nicoli - Trans World Airlines Collector
User currently offlineD5DBY From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 14937 times:

the thing im most affraid of when it comes 2 flying is the take-off...im so affraid that the pilot will stall the AC and lose lift.

but that never happens....just look at AC crashes....almost never this is the cause that makes the AC go down(or 1 of the causes)...

during landing im not so affraid...i know landing is more likley 2 turn into an incident....but im thinking like...if we skid of the runway...it wount be that bad...we will survive....lol

is flying safer than if I would buy a new, safe car. fasten your seat-belt and put all your effort in driving this car safely....following every rule, including speed limits, looking everywhere for possible situations that can turn into an incident (cars passing u on the highway, cars u meet on a smaller road, crossroads ect)

u have new tyres....u just make everything 2 move the car safely...

remember that most ppl that dies in the veichle traffic of today is 1) drunk 2) very tired 3) old, perhaps with bad eyes 4) young drivers, driving for fun! pretty much like a race car driver.

im 20 and drive for fun sometimes...but if i would do like I have stated above...heres the point.....WOULD FLYING STILL BE SAFER? in this case, u cant look at statistics and find the answer....i know it depends on the driver of the car and perhaps the pilot....

so many more things can go wrong with an AC than a car....for example....if a lose engine power 2 the car.....the safety is not affected...but if i lose engine power 2 an AC......the safety is highly affected...


User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 14936 times:

Quoting D5DBY (Reply 12):
WOULD FLYING STILL BE SAFER? in this case, u cant look at statistics and find the answer

If you want to get over your fear of flying, I'd suggest you try to stop rationalizing it like this. How are you defning safety, if not in terms of statistics? You don't have any more control over other drivers on the road than over what the pilot of your airliner does. Drivers' examinations are but a formality in most countries, while aviation certifications are quite serious. I won't argue your points with you; you are free to believe what you will, be it reality or perceived. In truth, I could argue any of your points both for and against the cases you state. At the end of the day, if you don't want to fly, then why bother? It's quite enjoyable for many (including myself). If you really don't like it, then don't do it. And, if you find that you miss it, then maybe you enjoy it more than you're allowing yourself to believe?



Position and hold
User currently offlineD5DBY From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 14912 times:

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 13):
If you want to get over your fear of flying, I'd suggest you try to stop rationalizing it like this.

yeah....maybe

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 13):
You don't have any more control over other drivers on the road than over what the pilot of your airliner does.

true

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 13):
. I won't argue your points with you; you are free to believe what you will,

yeah I am....but i want 2 hear your opinion....how you look at it

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 13):
How are you defning safety, if not in terms of statistics?

well.....the statistic over how many ppl that are killed in the traffic every year is counting ALL ppl killed. drunk ppl and so on...in my example, this is not the case.....also if u fly all the small airlines in Congo...my opinion...your exposing yourself 2 higher risk than if you would fly BA in the UK...

if u fly at night...the risk goes up.
if u fly in the winter, when snow is falling the risk goes up....

anyway....there is no answer 2 this question...

I enjoy flying, its just that im so affraid of it.


User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14901 times:

I agree it's not the case with drunk pilots, because there are negligibly few. Are you flying small airlines in Congo? Not frequently, I'd hope.

I don't think night or snow conditions contribute unneedingly to accidents, either. Airliners operate under IFR flight plans, and are capable of flying and landing without ever seeing the horizon, in complete safety. The airports and airliners are designed to operate in a range of conditions, including snow, and will cease to operate when conditions become unnecessarily safe.

An instructor at my flight club claims that learning to fly in a training aircraft is comparably dangerous to riding a motorcycle. Having done both, I disagree with him, too. I think it's far safer to fly, especially if you watch motorcyclists darting in and out of traffic and riding wheelies on the highway. History shows those folks are dozens of times more likely to be injured or killed than airline passengers.

I've flown over 50,000 miles in 2005 alone on commercial flights, and a handful of hours of left-seat time in a C172. I have never, not once, been in a situation where I was even mildly concerned about safety. Meanwhile, I've drive some 15,000 miles this year, and have been concerned for my safety numerous times. I like to think I'm in the majority with this viewpoint. I'm glad you shared yours, and perhaps if more people share my point of view, it will help to reassure you. There's no clear answer, as you stated, but if you like to gamble, you can bet with certainty that you will be involved in a motor vehicle incident before a plane crash.

And, even if your tail engine blows up and takes out the entire hydraulic system, you stand a 50/50 chance of surviving. Ask the Sioux City survivors. I'd rather be in an airplane with no hydraulics than a car with no brakes making a 10,000 foot descent.



Position and hold
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17039 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 14860 times:

Quoting TimePilot (Reply 5):

Quote:
JETS MOVE UP AND DOWN LESS THAN AN INCH IN TURBULENCE

I've never heard that before. The website says it's true though.

In MOST turbulence, this is true, but planes can move much more.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 14852 times:

It is an interesting phenomenon, fear of flying.

After forty years of being a pilot I just got a little spooked walking across a 4x4 about seven feet off the ground. I'm a little nervous at the speed of a galloping horse. Probably due to constant exposure, flying provokes no fears at all in me.

Now crashing . . .



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 14817 times:

You're not the only pilot that's afraid of heights slam, I'm in that rank. At one point I couldn't even get on a ladder over 10 feet. I started rock climbing to get over this one.

I hate getting in a car when I'm a passenger. I'm about the same in a plane that I'm not at the controls of. I like the control.

Another thing to do is educate yourself on how the aircraft works, what the parts you see moving do, and what the sounds you hear are doing. Talk to the pilots after the flight, read books. The more you know, the less rationalization you need to do



DMI
User currently offlineTimePilot From Switzerland, joined Sep 2005, 296 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 14796 times:

Well, I'm back. Thanks for the responses everyone! I'm happy to see so many concerned and helpful people  Smile

I just got back at 9am this morning, and came home and slept about 5 hours. The flight from GUM > NGO on JAL leaves at 5:30am. A bus comes to pick us up at 3am, so we had to wake up at 2am  boggled 

Going over was a 767-300 with IFE. Got to see Black Rain again, one of my favorite movies. Coming back was a 767-200 without individual IFE screens. 50 seats were empty though, including 5 rows behind me, so I moved back and stretched out.

On both flights I was nervous during take-off because of bad weather; lots of rain. During initial climb it was pitch black outside both times, so I couldn't see a thing. It made me feel slightly better not to see the ground rushing away, so I'm thinking I'm probably afraid of heights.

These two times though, I actually had the  butthead  to sit in the window seat, something I haven't done for a very long time. Landing is always facinating  Wink


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 14790 times:

Great to hear your Experience.Hopefully Every trip gets easier.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 14768 times:

My one bit of advice is, planes have never killed anyone, its always been the impact thats killed them


You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
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