deaphen
Posts: 1090
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:57 am

Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:07 pm

Ok i have a silly thing to say. But i need some support on this. I am a member of the biggest aviation website on the internet, i know alot more about planes than the average passenger and i collect plane models. The technology used to fly astounds me and makes me get goosebumps all over my arms.
The thing is, when it comes to actual flying, i am petrefied. I dont know why or for what reason. I almost just cancelled a nice long holiday half way across the world because of this fear.
I am going to be flying on a short haul flight from DEL-GOI on Spicejet. So i need all the advice i can get from you guys! I just need reasons not to be a stupid sh!t and be scared!
Stupid request eh! I hope some one can help! Thanks
Deaphen  Smile
I want every single airport and airplane in India to be on A.net!
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:16 pm

Hi Deaphen

first of all this is not a stupid request , we can't help what we are afraid of , I spend most of my time with my eyes shut when I am a passenger in a car , particularly here in Belgium where they have one of the stupidest road rules on the planet !

Some airlines run 'fear of flying' courses - it might be worth checking whether any of the carriers in India do so ... failing that , I would check google for online 'fear of flying' courses ... usually we most fear what we dont understand fully and often when we have the physics of flying explained it helps ... even the most ardent planespotter has probably looked hard at a 744 sometime and thought to themselves "I still don't really believe that can get off the ground ... I know that it does , but I just can't believe it"


Good luck , and remember , admitting the fear is probably the first step in doing something about fixing it  thumbsup 
 
Toulouse
Posts: 2193
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:30 pm

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:12 pm

Hi Deaphen,

Don't apologise for your question... we cannot control out fears. Now a question for you, which may seem silly, but it's not: Are you sure you're afraid of flying? Or is it perhaps calustrophobia, lack of control.

A number of years back I was involved in a minor incident while flying (a non-event I'm sure for all the aviation pros out there), but it affected me badly and I was for the first time terrified of flying (I actually missed my own brother's weding to avoid having to fly at the height of my fear). In early 2004 I was quite unwell, and became very nervous. To cut a long story short, it turned out I had developped a "Panic disorder" maybe triggered by that incident, but probably something else and the whole thing surfaced due to professional stress a couple of years back. I am being treated for this "disorder", but the great thing is I got my love of flying back. I realised I wasn't really afraid of flying, but I was just afraid of having a panic attack and being our of control when on a plane. It has been wonderful for me. Again I can sit back, enjoy the different noises, the turbulence (within reason of course) etc during a flight which for about 3 years terrified me. Think about it. Do you feel fear any where else?
Remember fear/panic is totally irrational and with good medical support and even psychological support can be sorted out very quickly.
Good luck
Long live Aer Lingus!
 
deaphen
Posts: 1090
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:57 am

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:39 pm

Dear toulouse,
Thanks alot for your words, i think my fear is a mixture of feelings. Its a mixture of the height, the speed and majorly the lack of control. Somehow, i feel that if the pilot was sitting right infront of me, i would feel secure because then i could see his expressions whenever i was feeling unsafe.this development of mine is fairly new, i have flown almost to every continent in my childhood thanks to my parents who are great travellers!
I dont know what it is, last year while boarding an SQ flight, i was just numb with fear, when they closed the doors, i was panicking like mad, and ofcourse that was despite travelling raffles class :p.
This year flying trans pacific again, i was kind of tense, but not as bad, i realised that a glass of wine does the trick. I have read up extensively on the prolem and it doesnt seem to be all that bad. Its just a silly mind block and the thought that u rarely hear of a disaster but what if i could be on the plane when the next one happens?
I want every single airport and airplane in India to be on A.net!
 
kappel
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:48 pm

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:52 pm

Quoting Deaphen (Reply 3):
Somehow, i feel that if the pilot was sitting right infront of me, i would feel secure because then i could see his expressions

I always look at the flight-attendants if something worries me. If they don't even blink, no worries. That helped me a couple of times when I heard unfamiliar noises etc. As long as the pros are cool, there's nothing to worry about. I also had a minor incident once, and the next time I flew I was petrified. But I bit the bullet and was really scared for even the slightest bump. Luckily I had 4 flights in a row, and by the third flight I was feeling relaxed again and by the fourth my fears were gone completely. I have also flown since I was 3 years old, and still de regularly.
So what helped me was flying a couple of flights in a row. As you said yourself, the last flight you were on, your fears were less, so maybe this would also be helpfull to you?
L1011,733,734,73G,738,743,744,752,763,772,77W,DC855,DC863,DC930,DC950,MD11,MD88,306,319,320,321,343,346,ARJ85,CR7,E195
 
lesmainwaring
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 12:47 am

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:26 am

I fully understand what you are going through.

After three minor incidents over the course of a few years, I was a nervous wreck flying. I also think knowing a bit about the industry has a tendency to lead towards the what-if thinking.

I have actually cancelled a few trips, one when I was at the gate, because of the panic.

But I get solice in the fact that my aunt flew for United for 35 years and had very few incidents; in fact, I've been in one worse than she ever was.

For me, a big part was also flying coach where you are packed in like lemmings. I looked at all those heads and thought, "If there is an emergency, I'll never get out of here."

I can't always afford to fly first or business (I'm a writer, so what you've heard about our salaries is true) but when I can fly first or business, and have room to stretch and am near the door, at least psychologically that calms me more.

That is one thing I like about Air Tran; the reasonably priced upgrades to business from coach when seats are available.

Another thing that gets me on planes (besides the fact I love this industry, and have since I was 5 years old and use to go visit my aunt at the airport) is that you almost HAVE to fly to get anywhere. I don't want to sit around my home (regardless of how beautiful the Chesapeake Bay region is); I want to go somewhere when I can.

Oh, and a Jack-and-Coke before takeoff helps too.

Good luck, and thank you for sharing. I know there are quite a few people that get jitters onces that door closes and you start taxiing out.

Happy Holidays and blue skies.

The Lester Mainwaring Party.
I want something under my wheels thats plenty long and mighty dry --- Vern Demarest
 
FiveMileFinal
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:17 pm

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Fri Dec 23, 2005 5:52 am

As someone who has recently rediscovered the joy of flying again (well, for some values of 'joy' - I'm waiting until I get to fly business class regularly to really call it that  Smile ) I can say that a number of things have helped me deal with the fear factor:

- Talking to my doctor and having him refer me to a psychologist who specialises in flying fears. Just being able to talk to someone about my biggest fears (engine surges, the plane "falling out of the sky" and what not) was one of the biggest steps in helping me deal with it.

- Having my doctor write a prescription for a mild sedative has also helped quite a bit.

- This and other websites, believe it or not, have helped me enjoy aviation again. For all the sensationalising of recent incidents and accidents (such as the WN snow overrun at MDW, various emergency landings at various A/Ps in the US, and a particularly bad August of this year) it's nice to know that thousands upon thousands of planes take off and land every day without a single problem.

This is not to say that I am completely worry-free about flying - hardly. But these - and other things - do help a lot, at least in my case - in managing the anxiety.
You goin'? We fly you dere! You been? We done already flew up in dere!
 
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AirIndia
Posts: 1064
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 2:43 am

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:12 pm

Deaphen I guess you are from DEL?

I suggest, you meet up with me before the night you have to travel to GOI. We'll drown all your fears in the world's best medicine... whiskey  Smile !!!

cheers,
Guru
 
Grbld
Posts: 349
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:25 pm

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:31 pm

Back "in the old days" we'd have scared passengers come sit with us in the cockpit (as long as they're not panic-scared, flailing arms and legs around). We'd explain everything from turbulence to how we fly the airplane and that would certainly take a major part of the sting out of their fear of flying.

Of course, I had to resist not to pull an "OH MY GOD, WHAT'S THAT! WE'RE GOING TO DIE!!!" on the poor passengers, but thankfully (for them), I always did.

Also, just seeing us sitting there relaxed and happy is a comfort for those people. Of course, after 9/11, this is not really possible anymore. After 9/11, many governments of the world have started a fear campaign, telling every civilian to just be afraid of everything and the paranoid security procedures in aviation only feed that fear.

Quoting AirIndia (Reply 7):
I suggest, you meet up with me before the night you have to travel to GOI. We'll drown all your fears in the world's best medicine... whiskey

Yes, AFTER you check if he gets better or worse with alcohol, please! You won't believe how many passengers our cabin crew has to deal with who come in hammered because they're afraid to fly (and some because they just got drunk the night before). About 60% will sit there quietly, sometimes dozing off and easy like babies, but the other 40% does the opposite, ranging from being just plain annoying to being very agressive up to the point that he/she is escorted of the plane by the authorities after landing.

Too much alcohol and flying don't mix very well, because the air density is less in the cabin and you need less alcohol for the same level of intoxication.


Anyway, one way to look at it is this: What exactly do you fear?

Do you fear that something goes wrong or do you fear crashing to your death? Because in all honesty, things can go wrong (not exactly what you wanted to hear), but the good thing is that virtually EVERY time something goes wrong, you'll land safely. So yes, if you're looking out the window on takeoff and the engine explodes, ah, that's not good. But rest assured, we are fully trained to handle all those things and in no time, you'll be back on the ground safely!

Grbld.
 
symphonik
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:52 am

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:35 pm

Quoting Kappel (Reply 4):
I always look at the flight-attendants if something worries me. If they don't even blink, no worries. That helped me a couple of times when I heard unfamiliar noises etc.

That's great advice. For the most part, I don't have much of a fear, but certain flights can sometimes really get my stress and worry levels up. Case in point, a short DEN->COS flight I took recently, where it was -9°F outside the a/c, we were completely fogged in, and the turbulence was ridiculous. It didn't help I had been up for 20 hours by that point. All I could think was, "I sure hope they de-iced this sucker well (what if they didn't?)" and "with no reference points outside, I have no idea what orientation we're at right now (are we in the graveyard spiral?)"

A quick chat with the flight attendant sitting next to me (this was in the back row of a CRJ-700) and no more problem.

Good luck! And don't feel silly! You're among friends.
 
Toulouse
Posts: 2193
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:30 pm

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:31 pm

Quoting Deaphen (Reply 3):
Dear toulouse,
Thanks alot for your words, i think my fear is a mixture of feelings. Its a mixture of the height, the speed and majorly the lack of control. Somehow, i feel that if the pilot was sitting right infront of me, i would feel secure because then i could see his expressions whenever i was feeling unsafe.this development of mine is fairly new, i have flown almost to every continent in my childhood thanks to my parents who are great travellers!
I dont know what it is, last year while boarding an SQ flight, i was just numb with fear, when they closed the doors, i was panicking like mad, and ofcourse that was despite travelling raffles class :p.
This year flying trans pacific again, i was kind of tense, but not as bad, i realised that a glass of wine does the trick. I have read up extensively on the prolem and it doesnt seem to be all that bad. Its just a silly mind block and the thought that u rarely hear of a disaster but what if i could be on the plane when the next one happens?

Deaphen, your situation and your feelings are very similar to what I went through. If you want, please don't hesitate to send me a message on a.net. One thing, and I can vouch for this, it is easy "enough" to get over this fear.
Long live Aer Lingus!
 
lordanmol
Posts: 428
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 11:22 pm

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:35 pm

Dont worry. I never used to have a fear of flying, but now I get petrified when I fly because when I was going to Bangkok on Thai, suddenly this guy shouts everyone down. It was really scary.

Regards
Hmmmmm....
 
BAtriple7
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:05 am

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:58 pm

Hi Deaphen,

This fear is normal even among regular fliers - a friend I knew had a similar episode after being a regular flier for twenty years. I think it was a really turbulent (but safe) flight that did it. He had panic attacks and cancelled flights. Three things helped: 1.) not relying on alcohol/drugs; 2.) trying out a trial flight on a light aircraft where you get to be at the controls (this may turn you into a lifelong pilot, so beware!  Wink ); 3.) going on a airline-run course which includes a flight. I think he used Aviatours in the UK, but perhaps they have some round your area too.

You'll get over this, and you're not alone!
 
MrMcCoy
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 4:17 am

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:51 pm

This topic sort of floated off, but I wanted to revive it to ask you fellas a few questions. I'm an aviation nut to the point of near unheathiness.. I've even made it my primary business. But imagine my displeasure of meeting the woman of my dreams years ago, marrying her, having kids and realizing that she's got a TERRIBLE fear of flying!!

Here's my question. She's a pretty crafty gal, and very smart. None of the "honey, it's safe" or "look at the flight attendants" works on this lady. Naturally, I think it's less of the fear of flying and more the fear of claustrophobia in a flying tube that you can't just exit for a breath that scares her.

Where might you find some good (and affordable) fear of flying classses? I'm in the Los Angeles area and can think of only one, perhaps two places she might take a course. We are planning to take a long (in her mind) flight to New York from LA by next winter, with maybe a short flight to Vegas to get her reaclimated.

Do you folks know of any other classes?
It only takes five years to go from rumor to standard operating procedure.
 
hmmmm...
Posts: 1959
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:32 am

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:48 pm

I got one word for you Lorazapam, trade name Ativan. It is a tranquilizer. It essentially prevents panic from happening. It takes away strong fear emotions. You are incapable of feeling fear strongly. It really is that simple. Aren't drugs great?
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
 
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aerorobnz
Posts: 7410
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:43 pm

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:46 pm

Quoting Hmmmm... (Reply 14):
I got one word for you Lorazapam, trade name Ativan. It is a tranquilizer. It essentially prevents panic from happening. It takes away strong fear emotions. You are incapable of feeling fear strongly. It really is that simple. Aren't drugs great?

Just don't drink anything except water/juice or you'll end up being arrested like the passenger we had the other day who had a few drinks with them and flipped completely. She was running all over the terminal until the cops spear tackled her....lmao
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
MrMcCoy
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 4:17 am

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:58 am

So.. back on topic now. Can anyone provide any useful information for me?
It only takes five years to go from rumor to standard operating procedure.
 
hmmmm...
Posts: 1959
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:32 am

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:24 am

Quoting Aerorobnz (Reply 15):
Just don't drink anything except water/juice or you'll end up being arrested like the passenger we had the other day who had a few drinks with them and flipped completely. She was running all over the terminal until the cops spear tackled her....lmao

Tranquilizers, which I suggested, have the effect of calming one down. And they will certainly calm one down much better than juice!
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
 
AirWillie6475
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:45 pm

RE: Fear Of Flying On Commercial Planes

Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:40 am

I am a student pilot and believe it or not, I wasn't comfortable with flying before I started taking flight lessons. I'm not saying that I was those people that need drugs to get on the plane but I would always be nervous the day before up until the takeoff. So when I decided to go into aviation because I have always wanted to be a pilot and fly heavy jets, I became really nervous.

I admitted to myself that I was afraid. I talked to a few people and listened to a few motivational speakers about the topic of Fear, and how to overcome it. After these interactions with people I quickly learned that fear comes from your mind it's not real. It can't hurt you, when you are inside an airplane nothing will harm you. So why fear?

A wise guy once said that if you have fear, then you have a wrong perception of reality. In short, if you have fear, you are wrong. Think about it, you get nervous at the thought that tomorrow you will be flying. But how could you be nervous, you aren't even in the airplane! Fear is an illusion, suck it up and enjoy your flight! Now flying the small planes is even more boring than driving my car. I think it should be that way.

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