Guest

Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 6:53 am

Someone help me with takeoffs. That's the worst part of flying. I'm devastated because I used to love flying...I still love planespotting.
 
brains
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:21 am

What do you need help with? I'm sure people here would love to help you with your problem but it would help if you were more specific. So let us know and we'll do our best. Take care!
Brains
 
Ikarus
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:27 am

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?  Acting devilish

Regards

Ikarus
 
greenjet
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:30 am

If she flies Ryanair she'll never fly again  Smile
 
Captain.MD-11
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:31 am

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  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Twins,twins, everywhere.... but where are the three holers?
 
Guest

RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:32 am

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
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:36 am

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.

Works for me!

Regards

Dan (loves flying more than anyone now Big grin)
 
Ikarus
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:38 am

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...

Regards

Ikarus

PS: Should you chicken out, just give the ticket for the flights to America to me!  Big grin Just kidding...
 
brains
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:38 am

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!
Brains
 
Guest

RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:43 am

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
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:52 am

It sounds pretty bad, I feel for you Smoberly  Crying. 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
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:53 am

 Sad 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  Big grin

...Serge


 
bacardi182
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 8:20 am

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
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 9:42 am

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...

Cheers
Carpe Pices
 
ILS
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 9:43 am

Imagine like you are in FS and say silently "V1 rotate, V2" and then walk yourself through the ATC that is going on. It works!
 
AA737-823
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 12:01 pm

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.

Randy
 
Pilot1113
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 3:03 pm

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.

- Neil Harrison
 
Andreas
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Smoberly, Try To Get..

Fri Dec 07, 2001 5:39 pm

...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).
Regards
Andreas
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!
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
Andreas
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Just An Afterthought...

Fri Dec 07, 2001 5:43 pm

some guys here said it might help to be in control of an aircraft. Yes, I heard that for some people this actually works fine, as you don't feel that helplessness anymore. Try it!
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
yka
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 5:55 pm

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
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 5:59 pm

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.

Patrick Bateman is my hero.
 
Aerialpingpong
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 6:38 pm

Hey Smoberly  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

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  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

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  Nuts which in your case wouldn't help matters too much.  Wink/being sarcastic

Anyhow, best of luck to you.  Big thumbs up

 
jwenting
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:35 pm

This is the URL for the main Dutch organisation combatting fear of flying: http://www.valk.org/index_uk.htm.
Maybe they can help you directly, or else direct you to a similar group in your area.

Remember, flying is safer than driving and especially than driving while chainsmoking.
I wish I were flying
 
Andreas
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737doctor

Fri Dec 07, 2001 8:11 pm

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.
Regards
Andreas
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
Guest

RE: 737doctor

Fri Dec 07, 2001 9:29 pm

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 staceyamoberly@hotmail.com. 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.
 
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apuneger
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Fri Dec 07, 2001 10:38 pm

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 aircraft than driving to university, because at least pilots are subject to so many rules, and they have discipline. When I drive to school, I sometimes see crazy and dangerous things that are just unbelieveable..

But, let's not dwell on that. I must say, most times people are afraid of flying, it is because:

- they are not in control of things...their lives are in hands of pilots they (most of the times) don't even get to see

- the thought of being off the ground...they think the aircraft will crash, no matter what

- they don't understand all the procedures, the sounds, the movements of control surfaces etc...

Have you ever tried to get a video, showing a normal flight in the cockpit? Here you can see all procedures that pilots have to go through, during the various stages of flight. You will see that pilots are rally disciplined, and take their job serious. They know what they're dealing with. Try to compare this with a tired truck driver on a friday evening...

Has anybody ever tried to explain you the basics of flying, what makes aircraft fly. You will see that even a 747 uses the same basic principles as a single-engined Cessna.

Another thing that might scare you are all the strange feelings during take-off. This is probably due to the fact that you're not used to them. If you fly only once avery 2 or 3 years, you will probably think "oh my god, tomorrow I'm gonna fly, and have all these strange feelings". However, if you fly on a regular basis, maybe you'll get used to these feelings and understand why they occur. If someone explains you the physic fundamentals of these feelings maybe you'll start realizing that they are in fact very natural, and not some kind of crash omen...

But, of course, the only way to get rid of your fear is by doing what you're afraid of: flying...

So, if you really want to lose your fear, I suggest you book a 1h flight or so...upon boarding, explain the F/A your fear, and ask if it's possible to see the flight crew and just talk to them for half a minute or so.

Once you're at cruise level, maybe one of the pilots will invite you to the cockpit, or he'll come to you to explain some things, and tell you what you're about to hear and see when descending to your destination. And, don't worry, if one of the pilots comes to see you, there's still the other pilot and the autopilot to fly!!!

Ivan
Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
 
Guest

RE: Petrified To Fly

Mon Dec 10, 2001 11:50 pm

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 Airlines and a 737 pilot with over 20 years' experience. I've visited the cockpit of a 777 during a flight (it was on BA and the pilots were friendly, courteous, and full of information...this was also prior to 9-11) which I doubt I'll ever be able to do again, and I've read to date six books about the fear of flying. I'm also a frequent flyer....prior to developing the fear, I flew at least 5-6 times a year, often more, which is pretty good for a kid who never really went anywhere on vacation. Any excuse to fly I grabbed. My grandparents live in San Antonio....great. I flew. I went to college in Austin....groovy. I flew. I'd fly in on a Saturday morning and fly out the next day. I once flew to Austin for a party, then flew home! That's how much I liked flying....if you could fly to a city, I'd fly to it. I even flew from Austin to Houston once and anyone who has ever flown that will tell you how short a trip that is.


I'm used to the sensations of flight....ever since I was a baby I flew, and flew a LOT. It was only on July 17, 1996 that I ever imagined anything bad would happen to me in the air. That was the same year I had a nervous breakdown, broke up with my serious boyfriend, nearly flunked out of school, confronted serious issues from childhood and realised I had PTSD, and turned 21. It was also the worst summer of my life....I was constantly fighting with my parents (I was still a university student) and left Dallas abruptly to live in Austin with three other people in a 2 bedroom apartment in a bad neighborhood. We all worked pissant jobs at near minimum wage and we barely made ends meet. It was an absolutely miserable year.


I don't think my phobia stems from lack of information, though I realize that education is the solution for many people. It just isn't for me.


 
Andreas
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 12:01 am

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. Those no-more-fear-of-flying seminars offered by BA and LH won't do you no good. Sorry to tell you but imho (NOT being a doctor, but I found that topic rather interesting, as a former girlfriend of mine is a psychiatrist who does/did help people at LH with fear of flying) you need to see a doctor, probably a psychiatrist, and an expert on phobias, too.
Good luck to you!
Andreas
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
Banco
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 12:37 am

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 if they had details but I couldn't find one. They do have a "contact us" area so I would suggest that you e-mail them for information.

By the way, if you've been flying with this phobia for the last few years you are very far from being a coward, you are actually extremely brave. Bravery is not fearlessness. I greatly admire you for that.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Andreas
Posts: 5880
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 7:56 pm

Banco: You Are Absolutely...

Tue Dec 11, 2001 12:47 am

...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 phobias and let him/her pass his judgement, and then go to the seminar (which does cost a fortune, at least at LH).
And yes it is brave to fly anyway, but it does take the fun out of travelling, and as there is professional help available, why not take it?
Regards
Andreas
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
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RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 1:03 am

A fair point.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
heavymetal
Posts: 4442
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 3:37 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 1:11 am

The chief reason I'm into airliners is because I flew a lot as an unaccompanied minor when I was 12, 13, 14...and flying scared me...for the reasons it scares a lot of people...lack of control, ignorance about how it works, etc.

I hated takeoffs too. Being a creative person, I had a vivid imagination painting pictures of all the awful things that could happen. The worst part was pivoting onto the active runway, knowing you couldnt get off the plane..that whatever happened, you were committed to it.

I also hated flap retraction, particularly on the 727s....you can feel the aircraft sinking as they come up, and many times it's happening the same time that the pilot is throttling back from full power...so you're nose high, sinking, and the engines sound like they're shutting down! Yikes!

But what did I do? I read. And learned. And learned more. I learned what the noises were, the 'thumps' of the gear coming up, which an active and uninformed imagination could view as the bottom of the airplane falling out!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy I learned what happens when things do go wrong. I learned that if an engine failed, or a system screwed up or whatever...that a plane fighting the physics of taking off can, by the push of the yoke, in just a few seconds revert to a plane in normal, level flight, where only a fraction of the power is needed, and where the aircraft is designed to sit while its' crew figures out what went wrong. Once you get off that concrete, speed and altitude are your friends.

I second the suggestion of several posters...buy Microsoft Flight Simulator and a control stick. Just get the basic one, its all you need. Play around with the 737 or the 777. Obviously its' not the real thing, but the parameters fed into it are the same. Learn flaps, gear, stall speed....watch the instruments and see how they really are pretty basic.

And the next time you take-off, think about this sight:


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Andy Martin



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Brian Stevenson - Orlando/Tampa Aviation Photography



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Steve Whittier



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Andy Martin



Yup...rows and rows of OLD jetliners. Machines that flew thousands and thousands of takeoffs without so much as a screw loose. It's cool to look at piuctures like this and realize the horrible stories we hear about air crashes really are infitesimally remote. Most airplanes that roll new off a production line will live a safe, happy and productive life and end up as condos for owls and prairie dogs hehehehe.

 
cx340
Posts: 518
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2000 2:59 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 5:27 am

Somberly,

I have to tell you that I understand you in many ways. I too have been a fan of aviation probably since I was born, and I loved flying more than anything. But recently, and probably as a result of several bad flights, I have developed some kind of fear of flying. I have been recently involved in heavy turbulence and terrible landings/takeoffs, and to be quite honest, I do get afraid, sometimes very much so, although from what you write probably not as much as you. To make matters worse, for different reasons I've had to take more than 30 flights this year alone. I, like probably all members of this forum, know a little more than the basics of flying, but the trouble is that is precisely what makes me worry that things are going ok. I hear every sound, twich, noise, and I'm always alert. Sometimes I'd rather live in ignorance like most of the passangers in my flight, but it is too late for that.

But you know what? On the few last flights that I've been on, this panic has started to go away. When I think about it, I reason that flying is like many other activities in life: it involves a risk, and I bet you never think of the risk that driving, boating, etc involves (which is far greater than that of flying), and you still drive or ride a boat or what have you. But that is life, you will always be subject to risk, and if you want things done in your life, you should take it and assume the possible consequences. Believe me, ever since I started thinking like that, my fear has retreated more and more.

Each time I fly now, I start to think that and I try to remember how amazing and beautiful it is that we human beings have had the ability to create flight, to do so safely and to create such perfect machines. I still can't totally relax, and probably will never be able to relax completely, but I try to change that anxiety into positive thinking, and each time I'm doing better. I have to take a flight next week, and when I write this I can't believe I'm saying it, but even though I know I will get somewhat nervous, I'm also a little, just a little exited again, because I remember how amazing flying is and that I'd rather fly there than drive!!!!
 
rootsgirl
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 3:48 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 5:53 am

737doctor - do you not have any compassion at all? You work in the profession, therefore, I would have hoped that you would have the qualities that would allow you to understand that not everyone is a brave flyer.

I have been flying a long long time and I have no fear at all, but don't put me near a snake! I can't even look at a picutre of a snake in a book without getting terrified, but I have experienced very moderate turbulence with no fear at all.

People do not choose their phobias and unfortunately to the individual they affect; they are very real.

My advice to the person who posted this thread --if you have tried to overcome your fear without success, then do not fly!

Do not fly until you are 100% ready to do so and if you do, please see your doctor before so you can obtain some medication to help you with your anxiety. Also, tell a crewmember you are afraid. We hear it a lot and we are there to help.
 
jamesag96
Posts: 2007
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2001 2:59 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 6:53 am

No kidding, let the young lady be. I used to be scared out of my mind to fly and when I took this job I quickly racked up 200K air miles. I know what it is like to be so scared that for days before a flight the anxiety would take control. I can only offer my experience: If you haven't already, learn as much as possible about the mechanics of flight, and drink water, not coke...you don't want anything with Caffiene or sugar. It got so bad that I went to an MD and told him of my fears to which he perscribed an anti-anxiety, and this helped quite a bit...albeit at times with a stiff drink (not reccomended). I realized too that the folks up front wanted to get home as much as I did...and it never hurt to offer up a prayer to calm yourself down. Now I can enjoy it, I am not neerly as bad as I used to be..though there are times when I'll offer a few more prayers...and the view is truly spectacular.
Good luck, this Texan hopes you can enjoy it again soon.
Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
jamesag96
Posts: 2007
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2001 2:59 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 9:09 am

Oh...and Gig'Em!!!
Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
concorde1518
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu May 17, 2001 12:02 pm

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 9:21 am

Although i was never afraid to fly, I do understand that it can get a little violent on takeoff (although I LOVE that.) When they shut the doors, I used to feel a little uneasy. Get into Flightsimming. After I got into it, I lost every fear to fly that I had! My first flight after I really got into it, I realized that laws of physics are always there! It worked for me, however.



Aaron
 
redngold
Posts: 6673
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2000 12:26 pm

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 9:25 am

Takeoffs are probably the hardest part for me, too. I'm a recovering aviaphobe. Some ideas:

If you focus on ANALYZING:

1. Get a window seat, preferrably over the wing. You can assure yourself by seeing that the flaps are extended to takeoff configuration and (if needed) that the appropriate aerilon is active (if the wind's on your side.)

2. Count to thirty in seconds (one thousand one, one thousand two...) Your plane will take off within 30 seconds unless it is near MTOW. Congratulate yourself for making it through the count!  Smile

3. If you get that over-wing window seat, challenge yourself to watch the wing flex upwards just before lift-off. It's really neat and since you're focusing on a small detail you'll probably not worry so much about other sensations.


If you focus on PHYSICAL SENSATIONS:

1. Chew gum during takeoff. It will help your ears.

2. Be aware that the intense forward acceleration produces the sensation of rising and tilting backwards even though the a/c hasn't yet rotated. Your body wants to remain still and the seats are tilted backward even in their "full upright position" so you do actually tilt back a little (but not as much as your body says.)

3. If you're in the front of the plane, you will not notice the rotation as much as in the back because you don't have the visual perspective. You will see the angle if you are in the back, and you will feel the final "bump" of takeoff.

4. Understand that when you feel a drop or rise in the altitude, the actual drop or rise is much less than what your body tells you. When you feel this during takeoff, it's usually the result of a change in engine power. Engine power is reduced after a certain altitude, because the plane is able to maintain altitude on less power than it takes for it to take off.

Good luck!
redngold
Up, up and away!
 
vafi88
Posts: 2981
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 10:32 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 9:33 am

Here's my advice, Take your mind off of any negativity because when you think about it the memory sets in and then you think about something else and that sets in, so at the least amount of turbulence of whatever sound or bump you feel, you might come to conclusions about what is happenning. I am not an expert, but if you just take your mind off of it , you'll be fine. That falling feeling, try to imagine how cool it is. Get on a swing and get really high on it, you'll be used to the feeling in no time. Glad to be in any help.

Don't think about it, and try to feel that falling is good.
I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
 
vafi88
Posts: 2981
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 10:32 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 12:11 pm

I hope all of this helps you...
I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
 
POSITIVE RATE
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 11:31 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 5:03 pm

Most people's fear seems to come from a lack of knowledge/understanding of what is happening during the flight. Maybe see if you can get some basic aerodynamics texbooks from your local library and just have a flick through that to give you a bit of an understanding of how flight works. Maybe you could even take a Trial Instructional Flight(T.I.F) and get some hands on experience. Regarding the take-off i regard that as the best part in a heavy jet- so much power, so much acceleration and a good kick in the pants to boot. Sit next to the wing and observe the flaps/slats/spoilers/ailerons in action(very interesting) and try to relax!
 
fqtv
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 9:01 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 5:07 pm

Hi Smoberly,

my mum has been an aerophob all her life, but over the last few years she's found a way to make it better. It's not the cheapest option, but this is what she does: she either buys a business class ticket, or upgrades from economy to business using frequent flyer miles. This is why she says it works:
- from the day she books her ticket, instead of dreading the upcoming flight (she say she used to "count the days"), she either worries whether she's going to get upgraded or not (it's a good distraction, apparently) or, if she's bought a business class ticket, at least takes comfort in the fact that she hasn't committed herself to anything, as almost all biz class tickets are fully refundable
- the initial at-the-airport stress is immensely reduced, because you don't have to queue up for check-in (she says that she never realised how bad waiting in line was - the mind has time to wander, it is quite close with people all around you, and you have the feeling that you have now "committed" yourself and there's no going back, and then have to wait around with that feeling gnawing at you. Not pleasant! At the biz class counter there's none of this, checkin is over in a few minutes)
- instead of waiting at the gate with hundreds of other passengers milling around and staring at the plane through the window (she says it always seemed to "loom" out over her), as a business class passenger she can go to the lounge, for some free drinks (she says they help too), relax in a cool, quiet environment, either sending emails to her friends or reading a magazine.
- and finally, most importantly, on the plane there is lots of space. She says this helps immensely. There is less of the feeling of being stuck in her seat with nowhere to go, cramped, with people all around her. In business class there is a calmer atmosphere, less of the hustle and bustle of a full economy class, and the crew take very good care of the passengers (she says the pre-departure champagne also works wonders  Smile ). She says she also takes comfort in the fact that if anything were to happen and she should need to leave the plane in a hurry, the huge space between the seats, the fewer passengers and the wide isles means there wouldn't be such a crush for the exits. She says that nothing can completely take away the fear of takeoff (she still puts her fingers in her ears and screws her eyes shut), but when the crew come round with the menus, hot towels, canapees, etc. she says she can relax again and actually begins to enjoy the flight a little. She now flys between the UK and New Zealand/Fiji (we have relatives in Fiji and NZ and have just finished building a house in Fiji) about twice a year - if I'd told her five years ago she'd be doing this she would have laughed at me  Smile. Or worse  Smile  Smile

I know that what works for one person doesn't always work for another, but my mum was very very scared of flying and it has helped her alot, so it would definately be worth a try on your next trip. Just don't expect the rest of the family not to be jealous  Smile!

Cheers, Zac

P.S. just a few tips about business class, the business classes on US airlines aren't very good. The best ones to go for are Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand (highly reccommended), Cathay Pacific or British Airways (our of the US airlines, Continental is probably the best). Also, make sure you sign up for their frequent flyer programs - mum now only has to buy every third of forth business class ticket or so, because for the rest she buys cheap economy tickets and upgrades using points - it actually works our to be not very expensive
P.P.S. if you'd like any more information I can ask her to email you
 
Guest

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 6:38 pm

That's a good point heavymetal, I never thought of it that way  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
Guest

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 6:41 pm

haha jamesag, hook 'em horns....I'm a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.
 
Guest

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 6:47 pm

I want to thank everyone here for taking the time to try and help me, I really appreciate it. I've decided that I'm going to continue to pester my doctor for anti-anxiety drugs (she has so far refused to prescribe them for me), continue psychotherapy, and try to get help on the NHS for my phobia. My parents have offered to pay for a fear of flying course (the type offered by major airlines) and since I have nothing to lose, I will take one of those too. I want to take one that includes a graduation flight because if it doesn't, I'll just forget everything I learned and continue not flying which isn't an option. I knew when I moved to the UK that I'd have to fly a lot more than I wanted to but I never expected the phobia to get THIS bad. I'd also like to see the rest of Europe and you can get dirt cheap airline tickets to places like Stockholm, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Berlin, etc. I'd like to see those places and though they can all be reached by train or ferry from the UK, it's so much faster to fly! I mean, honestly....how long would it take to get to POLAND by TRAIN? It takes 3 hours just to get from London to York and that's only 200 miles!


 
standby87
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:33 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Tue Dec 11, 2001 8:14 pm

Smoberly, buy this book:
"Taking the Fear out of Flying" by Maurice Yaffe.
I think it was originally Stodder and Haughton press.
If you can't find it, let me know.
Good luck - but don't take anti-anxiety drugs. There's no need to do that. I recommend the fear of flying course that BA run either in London or Manchester. You will enjoy it and if you'd done it a few years ago, you might even have met me as one of the helpers!

 
jamesag96
Posts: 2007
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2001 2:59 am

RE: Petrified To Fly

Wed Dec 12, 2001 12:34 am

I gotta say that in the beginning my Xanax helped me get over that hump, now 90% of the time I don't take it when I fly. If you don't take the meds though, remember...no caffiene for you.

Good luck, take lots of pictures ane email them to me.

J
Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
User avatar
VapourTrails
Posts: 2278
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 9:30 pm

RE: Petrified To Fly

Wed Dec 12, 2001 6:01 pm

Smoberly,

I can recommend the Bach Flower Rescue Remedy..

http://www.rainbowcrystal.com/bach/bfr/rr.html

http://www.rainbowcrystal.com/bach/bach2.html

 Smile
From Australia. Qantas - Spirit of Australia.