Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Afraid Of Heights  
User currently offlineAAden From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 834 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1459 times:

hi guys

I have a fear of heights and wish to be a pilot. I will be taking my first flight up in a Cessna wednesday morning. I'm not scared of heights when flying onboard commercial jets. my question is will this be different inside a much smaller plane+ sitting up front?

thanx in advance for your opinions

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31568 posts, RR: 57
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1455 times:

Quoting AAden (Thread starter):

When you have a Fear.Fight It.Work to Conquer your Fear.Time is the Best Medicine.
After a few Attempts you will be Comfortable.
A smaller plane would be more Cramped & Turbulent than Larger Commercial ones.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

You think you have a fear of heights so put it in perspective. If you are up a mountain you may be several thousand feet high, but you wont' be afraid. If you are in a tall building you won't be afraid. Stand on the edge of that building and then you will be afraid. So your fear is not of heights but of falling from them.

You already don't fear falling from an airliner so as you will be strapped into your Cessna, you won't fall from that either.

No problem  Smile


User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3007 posts, RR: 48
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1432 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

I have brought up a person with fear of heights in a Piper, and he didn't have any issues. Apparently, even in a small airplane, you still have the engine cowling in front of you and a solid floor under your feet, therefore fear of heights for some reason doesn't kick in. The same person had fear of heights in a helicopter where he could basically "look down to the ground under his feet".

Don't worry, you'll be fine.

-Manuel



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1425 times:

Quoting AAden (Thread starter):
I have a fear of heights and wish to be a pilot. I will be taking my first flight up in a Cessna wednesday morning. I'm not scared of heights when flying onboard commercial jets. my question is will this be different inside a much smaller plane+ sitting up front?

I have mild fear of heights. In my experience, and that of other agoraphobics I have spoken to, fear of heights is rarely a factor in aviation. As soon as you get above 100-200 feet, the concept of height becomes rather abstract from the perspective of the phobia.

When I skydived, I would sometimes sit with one foot dangling out of the open door. If the pilot pulled a left turn, I would basically be hanging over nothing from a couple of thousand feet up. The ground felt like a map. Very abstract. The sensation of falling towards the ground didn't reassert itself until the last 100 feet or so.

You won't know until you try, but my bet is that you'll be just fine.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineDH106 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 623 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1328 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Similar to Starlionblue I have a fear of height - but only of heights from within buildings! This is especially so on tall building you can feel sway ever so slightly in the wind - that affects my balance and gives me virtigo. However in a plane I'm fine. Even at fairly low heights where it's 'obvious' you're 'up' it's okay. My guess is that you'll be the same - especially if you're okay on commercial flights. Go for it  Wink


...I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate....
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1319 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 4):
In my experience, and that of other agoraphobics I have spoken to, fear of heights is rarely a factor in aviation.

I would agree with this. I think fear of flying, which is pretty common is distinctly different from fear of heights.

And let's be sure we are talking about a phobia here and not just good-sense respect for these things. Blunt truth is falls and airplane crashes can kill you equally dead. In the case of phobias I don't think that fact has anything to do with the emotional responses.

I don't have any advice on your fear of heights. If it is spoiling your life to any real degree you might consider whipping it, either on your own or with professional help.

About flying, I do have some opinions. It is possible that a bit of your fear will impinge a little bit on your flying experience. For that reason I'd counsel you to hire an instructor for a flight or two. Be very honest with him/her before the flight. Express your concerns and your interests. If you get a good one they will brief you in advance what to expect, sights and sounds you will experience. They should not make any deliberate effort to frighten you but should let you experience the entire normal flight envelope.

For your part, you should be absolutely certain that no unreasoning fear is going to immobilize you when flying solo. Before you kick the instructor out the first time you should be truly at home in the airplane and comfortable with the height above the ground.

My understanding is that fear of height is triggered most often by looking down the side of something - a building, a cliff, off a bridge. It involves a foreground reference, where your feet are, and a hard stop at the bottom and an obvious intervening distance. At the US Army Airborne School (paratrooper training) there was a rule of thumb that said that 34 feet was about the limit for normal fear of height. That if you were going to have any problem with it, it would show up by that height. For that reason their cable practice towers were 34 feet high.

I don't completely agree with that. I grew up with a 150-foot cliff in my back yard. No fence! By the time I was 18 or 19 I would run, face first down that cliff. I would find new routes up and down it. I was comfortable there. A couple years later as a private pilot I climbed Halfdome in Yosemite. My brother and a friend hung their legs over the edge and looked five thousand feet down at Mirror Lake. I had a hard time walking within two feet of the edge.

That bothered me, so four years later when I went to Toroweap Point on the north rim of the grand canyon I had 'worked on it' by then. I now have a picture of me, hanging my toes over the edge of a three thousand foot drop. I think we can accustom ourselves to a lot. Hell, I used to be afraid of girls! It is just a matter of finding our incentives.  Smile

With that in mind, I wish you good luck in this. I hope you enjoy flying!



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1313 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
My understanding is that fear of height is triggered most often by looking down the side of something - a building, a cliff, off a bridge. It involves a foreground reference, where your feet are, and a hard stop at the bottom and an obvious intervening distance. At the US Army Airborne School (paratrooper training) there was a rule of thumb that said that 34 feet was about the limit for normal fear of height. That if you were going to have any problem with it, it would show up by that height. For that reason their cable practice towers were 34 feet high.

Looking down does indeed make it worse. I am somewhat afraid of heights. So I take every chance to go up in tall buildings. It's therapy of sorts and a stubborn refusal to allow my phobia to control my actions. Exposure does help in the long run.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
Hell, I used to be afraid of girls!

Me too. Ironically nowadays I am completely unafraid. Comes with being "safely" married I suppose.  Smile



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2004 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1308 times:

I'm very bad with heights, but have no trouble with flying (as a passenger that is!)

I've taken a few helicopter pleasure flights recently - akin to your Cessna is certain respects - and enjoyed every minute, once you get a few feet in the air, the fear of heights goes as the brain 'ignores' the height - it's outside the normal height experienced by our ancestors, so doesn't trigger the negative feelings?



it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3139 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1306 times:

I'm afraid of heights. I don't go on roofs, never climbed trees, etc.

Yet, I teach people to fly. I think that it's more of a feeling of security than anything. I know that I'm not going to fall out of an airplane. I know the airplane isn't going to mimic a rock on it's way down because when the engine stops it becomes a glider. Since you're in a Cessna, do yourself a favor and don't look directly down at the ground at first. Keep your eyes off on the horizon.

If anything, flying has helped with this fear of heights. I started rock climbing as a way to overcome this fear. Also, I do things now that I never did before like going out on balconies. I think flying gave me better perspective. 20 feet isn't so high when you consider that even in a cessna you're likely to be a few thousand feet above the ground.



DMI
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1292 times:

Quoting AAden (Thread starter):
I have a fear of heights and wish to be a pilot. I will be taking my first flight up in a Cessna wednesday morning. I'm not scared of heights when flying onboard commercial jets. my question is will this be different inside a much smaller plane+ sitting up front?

It's always better in a commercial plane because of pressurization. Your body still thinks it's on ground level eventough you might be up very high. In unpressurised state the body feels different sensations and it might trigger some anxiety. However those feelings will go away after your first few lessons.

It's kind of weird but somebody explained it already, the farther up you go the less you can see the ground so your mind differentiates from "flying above the ground" to "cruising at altitude". I think this point starts at about 4000 above ground level. At these levels and above you can't see the ground anymore on the horizon(at least here in the hazy los angeles skies) so you kind of get in the mode of flying rather than sight seeing.

[Edited 2006-08-01 23:19:37]

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1270 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 10):
It's kind of weird but somebody explained it already, the farther up you go the less you can see the ground so your mind differentiates from "flying above the ground" to "cruising at altitude". I think this point starts at about 4000 above ground level. At these levels and above you can't see the ground anymore on the horizon(at least here in the hazy los angeles skies) so you kind of get in the mode of flying rather than sight seeing.

As I recall from my skydiving days, a couple of hundred feet was quite enough for my brain to abstract the ground. Your results may vary.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Afraid Of Heights
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Pilots And Fear Of Heights posted Sun Oct 16 2005 21:53:18 by A346Dude
Heights Of Thunderstorms And Flying Over Them posted Sun Apr 30 2006 21:14:04 by JulianUK
Cost Of A 737-700 Type Rating posted Thu Dec 7 2006 01:27:30 by KingAirMan
Half Of NWA's Pilots Over 50? posted Wed Dec 6 2006 20:02:28 by Blackbird
Pitch Up (or Down) After Disegage Of Autopilot posted Wed Dec 6 2006 07:29:34 by SuseJ772
Cost Of A D-check? posted Fri Dec 1 2006 06:28:58 by Starstream707
777-300 Boxes On Top Of Fuselage posted Sun Nov 19 2006 17:10:06 by SABE
Other Uses Of Airplane Engines? posted Sat Nov 18 2006 10:01:00 by DIJKKIJK
Thrust Levers Out Of Sync In Picture? posted Sat Nov 18 2006 06:25:35 by Jawed
This May Seem Easy For A Lot Of You posted Mon Nov 13 2006 19:45:47 by Runway777

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format