Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 6:40 am

What advice would you give someone who found out that they HAVE to fly for their job...but is scared to?
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Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2000 8:35 am

RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:19 am

Hi Flygirl,

I'll try to make this quick since I'm at the office...

Scared to fly but have to fly.... Not an easy dilemma... First of all, as a kid, I was scared to fly. Of course I had no knowledge of the engineering and industry that supports aviation. Now that I work in the field of aerospace design I have a thorough understanding of how this industry works. I know that nothing is mechanically perfect, yet I do believe that the aviation industry is extremely safe. When I am a passenger on a commercial aircraft I feel safer than I do driving my car on our roads - and I'm a definite control freak. I've even gone so far as to acquire my Private Pilot Certificate, with High Perf endorsement, and passed my Instrument ground test, even though I don't plan on flying IFR at this time. I have a well defined fear of heights, yet that doesn't effect me on an aircraft because I believe in the people who designed, build, maintain and operate these flying machines. The engineering that is applied to aviation is some of the most intense research done on this planet. Peoples livelihoods are dependent on the aviation industry. They put their lives on the line to ensure that the passenger is safe.

BTW, enjoy the turbulence, a plane is designed to withstand more force- loading than you and I will ever experience. Keep that seatbelt on at all times though....
"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
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RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:22 am

Get an other job.

NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
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RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:27 am

I don't think this is the answer for everyone, but I am dead serious when I post it. My ex girlfriend, who is an F/A for UAL used to have this fear of flying. She told me that the first time she flew, just just got a little bit drunk before getting on the plane. After the first flight, it was never a problem for her anymore. I think its more about doing it the first time than the alcohol though.

I can only relate it to my initial fear of roller coasters. We were at Six Flags one summer, and my mother MADE me ride one with her, I was scared to death, probably 10 years old or so. After that first one, I can't get enough. Still can't to this day. I think you just have to face your fear, do it once, take an easy trip with a good friend, and you should be golden.

Hope this helps in some way.

A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
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RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 8:47 am

Get an aisle seat so you dont have to look out the window. Or invest some money into one of those classes where they help you overcome the fear of flying.

RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:50 am


Would you really change your job because of that? I mean...what if it is something your really like to do? Didn't you ever see La Bamba?! LOL.

- FlyGirl757
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 10:22 am

RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:54 am

Taking a look at the accident rate of automobiles compared to aircraft could help... But then they might be afraid to leave the house...

I agree with the above: You have to do it once, then you'll have no more problems. I was scared to fly until I took my first flight back in '91. Since then, I've become an incredible enthusiast (sometimes letting my enthusiasm get the best of me--as many people here may attest).

And if it continues to bother you, then yes, I would suggest a new job.

Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.

RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:54 am

Has anyone ever had to sit by someone who was scared of flying? Any crazy stories? I sat next to this one fat lady once...and she kept getting up to go to the bathroom....(to puke I think?)...It was a major pain...cause she kept wiggling in her seat and breathing hard...Luckily my flight was only an hour.  Smile
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RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:57 am

If it scares you, take 1 Tylenol Cold PM and a glass of wine.

Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
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RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:28 am

Has anyone ever had to sit by someone who was scared of flying? Any crazy stories?

I was on a 767-300 from ATL to SLC with a girl probably in her young twenties sitting in the aisle (I was window). Anyway, as we neared SLC it began to look quite stormy outside... One of the pilots got on to announce we will be in a holding pattern for a while since SLC had just been closed due to weather. Throughtout the holding pattern it was pretty turbulent- the girl next to me vomited in the airsickness bag too many times to count. I gave her my bag too and if I remember correctly it was used as well... Anyway, SLC was finally opened and after we cleared the runway, still taxiing, the girl got up and went to the facilities in the back of the plane to dispose of her puke. Kinda ticked off the F/As....

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Photo © Serge Walczak

photo taken a few minutes after I got off my flight...

BTW checkout there is information for fear of flying and a whole support forum last I checked..

have a good one!
Serge  Smile
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RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:30 am

I don't think it's worth giving up your job for. This fear is irrational and can be overcome. Choose one of the well known major carriers to fly on and maybe do a bit of research into how a plane flies before you go i.e how lift is produced, what the things on the wings are etc. More than likely if you know how everything works and what everything does then you won't be scared of every little noise you hear in flight.
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RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:37 am

I had an NYPD cop crying like a baby on an A300 from SJU to JFK recently. He was doing OK until we hit some turbulence, then he was completely inconsolable. It was really strange because on the same flight I had a woman who was so scared that we had to reopen the door and let her off before we left SJU. Usually you don't get 2 terrified fliers on the same flight.

Except this other one time there was these two 21 year old girls who were terrified. Every time the CPT turned on the seatbelt sign they'd jump out of their seats, run to the back of the plane in hysterics, and ask what was going on. Apparently they thought the seatbelt sign was some sort of signal to prepare for a crash.

Usually a little alcohol clams them down, but if they're truly horrified, nothing helps.
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
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RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:38 am


You can seek for professional help to overcome the fear of flying. In the past, Pan Am offered a kind of seminar to people like you. There must be something of the kind going on but not sponsored by a major airline. I suggest contacting IAPA.


RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:05 pm


It's not ME...I love to fly...I would be a FA if I could...hehe...I was just asking for advice so I could calm a friend's nerves. She ablsolutely HATES planes and can't stand things like roller coasters....

Me though? Well, I like to ride just about anything!  Big grin
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RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 1:26 pm


Your last sentence has made my mind wander....
"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
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RE: Flying Advice...

Wed Jul 16, 2003 1:38 pm

Try to learn something about aviation, the construction of airplanes, pilot training, etc... The more you know, the safer you will feel. Obviously the best thing to do is to become a pilot yourself, but if you don't want to do that keep reading.

You need to know that the pilots flying are there because they know what to do it if the s*&t hits the fan. They had to demonstrate that ability to get to where they are now. Take faith in that. Don't believe hollywood or anyone who tells you you might die by getting on a plane. Trust that we as pilots don't want to die either. The cockpit is at the very front of the aicraft. If we happen to crash, chances are that we die first! We devote our lives to getting people around. We're there because we want to be. And yea, a stiff drink will help.


[Edited 2003-07-16 06:40:33]
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."

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