akb88
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Tips on beating flying phobia.

Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:01 pm

Sooo I feel a bit silly posting this but I have to, have had this discussion before bit now I want to actively talk about tips to get over this. OK so few years ago I started to develop a phobia about flying, it hasn't stopped me to fly though, I just get really anxious. Basically I've started to not like to be not in control and really start feeling nervous during turbulence. Any tips on overcoming this turbulence fear?
Also, the news lately have me concerned of some mechanical issue or bad training bringing us down. I'm flying Icelandair, SAS and Condor.
How unfounded are my fears? Turbuelence isn't dangerous right? And mechanical issues that are so severe never really happen anymore.
 
Chemist
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:24 pm

Turbulence is pretty much only dangerous if you are unbelted.
I remember a number of years ago a story about a business jet that hit severe turbulence. There were injuries and I believe one or two people were KILLED. Yet the plane landed safely and was fine. Planes are strong.
 
george77300
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:34 pm

akb88 wrote:
Sooo I feel a bit silly posting this but I have to, have had this discussion before bit now I want to actively talk about tips to get over this. OK so few years ago I started to develop a phobia about flying, it hasn't stopped me to fly though, I just get really anxious. Basically I've started to not like to be not in control and really start feeling nervous during turbulence. Any tips on overcoming this turbulence fear?
Also, the news lately have me concerned of some mechanical issue or bad training bringing us down. I'm flying Icelandair, SAS and Condor.
How unfounded are my fears? Turbuelence isn't dangerous right? And mechanical issues that are so severe never really happen anymore.


While having never suffered the fear of flying I can’t help with you with all but...

Turbulence is NEVER dangerous if you have your belt on. The amount those planes are certified too is beyond anything nature could throw at it. Plane will be fine even if you are uncomfortable. It’s not nice for anyone and is relatively rare anyway.

SAS, Condor and Icelandair are all exceptionally safe carriers being European. For that matter any North American, European and Australian among many other countries are very safe. Even the worlds least safe airline is safer than you driving yourself to the airport. I certainly wouldn’t be concerned to fly on any airline in the Western world for that matter.

As forgetting anxious I unfortunately can’t help you really. It sounds silly but try to enjoy it. The best way is probably distraction. Have some good films loaded on a laptop/tablet or read a book. Just imagine you are on a train or something. Helps some.

Best of luck. :D
 
Kent350787
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:23 am

My first step to conquerig fearof turbulence was to think of it as if I was on a bus and the road became a bit bumpy. Started helping.

Travelling with your children when you're like honour bound not to freak out helps too. :) I've mostly overcome my phobia
 
ChrisKen
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:56 am

Book yourself onto a "fear of flying" course. Most major airlines run them, a lot of major airports do too.
Can't speak for your part of the world but the UK's courses have extremely good success rates. Worth every penny of the £200-£300 fee to the vast majority that take the courses. The courses generally take a full day (sometimes spread over two). Lots of "ground school" culminating in an hour(ish) long, guided (narrated) flight.
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:57 pm

I've considered classes but my airport and airline is Icelandair and they do have one of those but it's very rare.
What about maintenance and training, one of the concerrns is that something goes wrong with the plane and it goes down or the pilot struggles get it to safety. This is where the news and documentaries have not helped me lol.
These things are astronomically rare right? Planes here in Europe are checked and rechecked and maintained to a degree where some would call it overkill, right? lol
 
timh4000
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:39 pm

I've never had a fear of flying. I think a big reason for that is when I lived a few miles from SJC every day I watched dozens and dozens of planes usually landing, but occasionally taking off. One mid sized airport hundreds of flights a day. Expand that worldwide to think of how many flights make it to their destination it truly ends up being safer in the air then driving to the airport.

As for turbulence, it won't bring the plane down. Most including myself are not fans of it. Even pilots generally don't like it. They experience it more because who flies more than a pilot? They probably have a tolerance to it, which I think you will find with frequent flyers. I,ve been flying more lately than I do typically. I've noticed it takes stronger turbulence and more severe cross wind take offs and landings to "bother" me.

My suggestions would be to watch cockpit videos which shows how thorough they are, and usually the amount of tech that goes into the modern airliner.

Don't beat yourself up about flying being uncomfortable for you. It is for many people. Good luck, I hope you can get to a place where it isnt stressful for you.
 
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stl07
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:58 pm

I read somewhere that you are more likely do die on the freeway getting to the airport than actually on the flight.
Interesting how every thread is spammed with "bring back paid membership, there are too many spammers"
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:54 pm

I would just think that you have two professionals in the cockpit that wouldn't be there if they felt that the aircraft would be unsafe to fly. They want to get home to their families as much as you do and will make sure that your flight is operated in an extremely safe manner.

Enjoy your flight!
 
timh4000
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:31 pm

SierraPacific wrote:
I would just think that you have two professionals in the cockpit that wouldn't be there if they felt that the aircraft would be unsafe to fly. They want to get home to their families as much as you do and will make sure that your flight is operated in an extremely safe manner.

Enjoy your flight!

Another good way to think of things. Pilots with today's automation in the cockpit have so much information and so many safety features are really able to ensure a safe flight. They aren't up there willing to take any unnecessary risks and there are a great many pilots with 30+ years of service who make sure their plane is going to get them safely to their destination.
 
KFLLCFII
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:18 pm

akb88 wrote:
How unfounded are my fears?


Not unfounded at all...In fact, very founded.

Remember: You don't even need to be in the plane to die of a plane crash...You could be minding your own business on the ground and a plane crashes on you.

If you're going to die of a plane crash, whether you're in the plane or not, you're going to die of a plane crash.

And we're all going to die, whether of a plane crash or not.

So get on the damn plane.
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:49 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
akb88 wrote:
How unfounded are my fears?


Not unfounded at all...In fact, very founded.

Remember: You don't even need to be in the plane to die of a plane crash...You could be minding your own business on the ground and a plane crashes on you.

If you're going to die of a plane crash, whether you're in the plane or not, you're going to die of a plane crash.

And we're all going to die, whether of a plane crash or not.

So get on the damn plane.


That's helpful....thanks :roll:
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:01 pm

SierraPacific wrote:
I would just think that you have two professionals in the cockpit that wouldn't be there if they felt that the aircraft would be unsafe to fly. They want to get home to their families as much as you do and will make sure that your flight is operated in an extremely safe manner.

Enjoy your flight!


That's true. Thanks
 
DenimAndLeather
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:50 pm

Take a look of the map of the United States on a typical weekday from Flightradar24. The map is almost completely covered in planes. Every single one of those planes is going to make it to their final destination.
 
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bluestreak
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:38 pm

Maybe talk to your doctor. A prescription for Xanax, or an over the counter sleep aid may help. My dr gave me a few Xanax pills before I went to Australia. I was anxious about flying such a long distance, it helped me to relax. I have also taken Tylenol PM in the past for those long flights. I'm not saying this is the answer, but maybe something you, and your doctor can discuss to see what may be best for you.
"Well, we barely made the airport, for the last plane out, as we taxied down the runway, I could hear the people shout"
 
timh4000
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:40 am

Sometimes going through TSA and just waiting around for as long as we have to, especially at major airports can make me edgy, and I suffer from anxiety, especially after I went through the whole cancer thing. I've made dozens of regional flights from ALB-PHL and back. Going to philly usually would make me feel anxiety, although not of the flight itself, just the reason for the flight. Ativan works great for me, and makes for even a more relaxing experience. At cruise especially in good weather flying is relaxing for me. I don't always take it when I fly. But, prescribing something like that might also help.
 
denkcflyer
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:19 pm

I developed a flying phobia somewhat randomly, I can't pinpoint one specific trip that suddenly made me a fearful flyer.
I like you, struggle with the lack of control. I have other anxieties in life as well, and I've found that at the root of all my fears is a lack of control.
For me, the thought of getting a panic attack on a flight is sometimes more nerve wracking than the flight itself.

Here are a few things that have helped me:
-Definitely consider going to your doctor and getting a prescription. I have Ativan that I am prescribed for flights and it makes a big difference. If you can't do that, a glass of wine.
-Turbulence, as others have said is not necessarily dangerous, but more annoying than anything else. I fly in and out of Denver frequently, where almost every takeoff and approach are bumpy. I definitely don't enjoy it, but encountering it frequently serves as a good reminder that it's a normal thing that happens on flights.
-I prefer to travel with someone, I have found traveling alone is when I struggle. That being said, traveling alone is unavoidable for me. I like to sit in the middle seat or aisle and if my seat partner is chatty, I'll make conversation too because it's a good distraction.
-Bring other things to distract yourself - book, movies, music, podcast. If you're into sketching or doodling, I find bringing a small notebook to be helpful to doodle in when I am feeling anxious. I remember reading something a few years back about how writing your name out over and over can help with panic attacks too. Not sure what, if any science behind it.
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:25 pm

denkcflyer wrote:
I developed a flying phobia somewhat randomly, I can't pinpoint one specific trip that suddenly made me a fearful flyer.
I like you, struggle with the lack of control. I have other anxieties in life as well, and I've found that at the root of all my fears is a lack of control.
For me, the thought of getting a panic attack on a flight is sometimes more nerve wracking than the flight itself.

Here are a few things that have helped me:
-Definitely consider going to your doctor and getting a prescription. I have Ativan that I am prescribed for flights and it makes a big difference. If you can't do that, a glass of wine.
-Turbulence, as others have said is not necessarily dangerous, but more annoying than anything else. I fly in and out of Denver frequently, where almost every takeoff and approach are bumpy. I definitely don't enjoy it, but encountering it frequently serves as a good reminder that it's a normal thing that happens on flights.
-I prefer to travel with someone, I have found traveling alone is when I struggle. That being said, traveling alone is unavoidable for me. I like to sit in the middle seat or aisle and if my seat partner is chatty, I'll make conversation too because it's a good distraction.
-Bring other things to distract yourself - book, movies, music, podcast. If you're into sketching or doodling, I find bringing a small notebook to be helpful to doodle in when I am feeling anxious. I remember reading something a few years back about how writing your name out over and over can help with panic attacks too. Not sure what, if any science behind it.


This is very much like me. Just out of nowhere I start to get anxious about flying, I do have anxiety disorders so maybe it's linked to that.
 
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PPVLC
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:32 am

I had a frightened passenger grabbing me by the arm because everytime "that pink light goes on you run to the phone" and he wanted to know what was wrong with the plane. i told him it was the cockpit calling and I had to answer them, they probably wanted dinner or a coffee... "yes, but why pink?? it's a warning colour!" Everything is fine, I told him and he insisted "and if it's not fine??" then I will come here and tell you there's something wrong- I assured him. It seems silly but people who are afraid of flying see danger everywhere as they don't know exactly how the whole operation works; sounds, lights, movement of the plane, everything can feed their fear. Please, keep in mind that planes move around, they go up and down and shake a bit sometimes; turbulences can be fun if you keep your seatbelt fastened; it doesn't matter how much a plane seems to be "sinking" during a turbulence because we're flying vey very high and there's plenty of space between the plane and the ground itself; all the noises around you are expected to happen at some point; crews have their own lives to take care of and they are not risking it by flying; planes are safer than anything else and if something goes wrong there's a highly trained group of professionals that will take care of you and your fellow passengers. Believe me, you might think that you're the only person on board that noticed "there's something terribly wrong with this plane" but it's your mind playing tricks on you. your crew flies all the time, they are aware of everything and can feel the plane with the soles of their feet, even busy serving your meal they can see hear and smell everything around them.
Cabin crew L188 707 727 737 767 A300 DC10 MD11 777 747
 
denkcflyer
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:58 pm

akb88 wrote:
denkcflyer wrote:
I developed a flying phobia somewhat randomly, I can't pinpoint one specific trip that suddenly made me a fearful flyer.
I like you, struggle with the lack of control. I have other anxieties in life as well, and I've found that at the root of all my fears is a lack of control.
For me, the thought of getting a panic attack on a flight is sometimes more nerve wracking than the flight itself.

Here are a few things that have helped me:
-Definitely consider going to your doctor and getting a prescription. I have Ativan that I am prescribed for flights and it makes a big difference. If you can't do that, a glass of wine.
-Turbulence, as others have said is not necessarily dangerous, but more annoying than anything else. I fly in and out of Denver frequently, where almost every takeoff and approach are bumpy. I definitely don't enjoy it, but encountering it frequently serves as a good reminder that it's a normal thing that happens on flights.
-I prefer to travel with someone, I have found traveling alone is when I struggle. That being said, traveling alone is unavoidable for me. I like to sit in the middle seat or aisle and if my seat partner is chatty, I'll make conversation too because it's a good distraction.
-Bring other things to distract yourself - book, movies, music, podcast. If you're into sketching or doodling, I find bringing a small notebook to be helpful to doodle in when I am feeling anxious. I remember reading something a few years back about how writing your name out over and over can help with panic attacks too. Not sure what, if any science behind it.


This is very much like me. Just out of nowhere I start to get anxious about flying, I do have anxiety disorders so maybe it's linked to that.


It really could be linked to your other anxieties. I think that's what caused mine.
Do you fly often? Or just have a few trips a year where you fly?
There was a point in my life where I was flying quite frequently and I had no fear. I think once my travel slowed down, I started to get more anxious about flying because I wasn't as accustomed to it.

Reading the crash threads on here certainly doesn't help ease the mind either.
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:03 pm

denkcflyer wrote:
akb88 wrote:
denkcflyer wrote:
I developed a flying phobia somewhat randomly, I can't pinpoint one specific trip that suddenly made me a fearful flyer.
I like you, struggle with the lack of control. I have other anxieties in life as well, and I've found that at the root of all my fears is a lack of control.
For me, the thought of getting a panic attack on a flight is sometimes more nerve wracking than the flight itself.

Here are a few things that have helped me:
-Definitely consider going to your doctor and getting a prescription. I have Ativan that I am prescribed for flights and it makes a big difference. If you can't do that, a glass of wine.
-Turbulence, as others have said is not necessarily dangerous, but more annoying than anything else. I fly in and out of Denver frequently, where almost every takeoff and approach are bumpy. I definitely don't enjoy it, but encountering it frequently serves as a good reminder that it's a normal thing that happens on flights.
-I prefer to travel with someone, I have found traveling alone is when I struggle. That being said, traveling alone is unavoidable for me. I like to sit in the middle seat or aisle and if my seat partner is chatty, I'll make conversation too because it's a good distraction.
-Bring other things to distract yourself - book, movies, music, podcast. If you're into sketching or doodling, I find bringing a small notebook to be helpful to doodle in when I am feeling anxious. I remember reading something a few years back about how writing your name out over and over can help with panic attacks too. Not sure what, if any science behind it.


This is very much like me. Just out of nowhere I start to get anxious about flying, I do have anxiety disorders so maybe it's linked to that.


It really could be linked to your other anxieties. I think that's what caused mine.
Do you fly often? Or just have a few trips a year where you fly?
There was a point in my life where I was flying quite frequently and I had no fear. I think once my travel slowed down, I started to get more anxious about flying because I wasn't as accustomed to it.

Reading the crash threads on here certainly doesn't help ease the mind either.


I'm not a frequent flyer but I'm flying more often than I did as a kid. I think I've seen too many crash documentaries on Youtube
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:53 pm

How common is severe turbulence? I'm looking at a map for today and there is a lot of red and purple at several altitudes.
But anyway I'm finding ways to cope with turbulence. However I'm struggling too with the thoughts of the worst case scenarios such as something happening mechanically with the plane I'm on. I'll be on 757 and A320 with reputable airlines. Icelandair and SAS
 
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remcor
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:07 pm

akb88 wrote:
How common is severe turbulence? I'm looking at a map for today and there is a lot of red and purple at several altitudes.
But anyway I'm finding ways to cope with turbulence. However I'm struggling too with the thoughts of the worst case scenarios such as something happening mechanically with the plane I'm on. I'll be on 757 and A320 with reputable airlines. Icelandair and SAS


Severe turbulence is relatively rare, I don't think I've ever experienced it, and airlines make an effort to avoid it when they can. Go to skyvector.com and click on the layer "pilot reports" and you can see for yourself. Note that the type of airplane matters, if there's severe turbulence reported from a Cessna 172 it'll likely be moderate or light for a 737. Turbulence Sigmets and Convective Sigmets are more serious than Turbulence Airmets (I fly my Cessna in turbulence Airmets all the time). Also note the altitudes covered in the Sigmets, if it says SFC/FL110 it's only up to 11'000 feet.

As far as damage to an airplane due to turbulence? Also rare, for example the wings must withstand at least 150% of what is expected to be the most severe load it can ever withstand. Goto youtube and look for "777 wing stress test". In the old days thunderstorms were a legitimate hazard, but with better weather reporting and on-board weather radar these are avoided now.

Think about being an airline pilot who flies all the time, if it were legitimately dangerous then these guys would burnout from stress really quickly. But they fly for years and decades.
 
timh4000
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:23 pm

Reading and watching crash reports is not a good idea. I went through a phase where I was watching them and I remember being too aware of anything that was going on while flying. It wasn't to the phobia stage but my normal relaxing feeling while flying wasn't as relaxing. I do like watching turbulent landings and take offs though. Everyone lives lol. Plus I've been through a few of those myself. Frequent flyers probably more than they can count. I talked to the female captain who got off to stretch her legs before the next flight. She actually said she enjoys those landings as a challenge. It was on one of my emb145 flights landing in Albany. She did a good job btw, squared it up a cpl seconds b4 landing and touched down decently considering.

Go to an airport, a busy one and watch flight after flight after flight take off and land successfully. The odds of death by airplane crash is astronomical in terms of how low the odds are. Thousands of career pilots have flown tens of thousands of flights and live. Its honestly safer in the air than driving to the airport by a tremendous margin. Lastly, don't beat yourself up over the anxiety. The human body hasn't had time to adjust to our technology and it's very common for people to feel anxiety flying 7 miles up at 500mph. Especially when YOU have no control. Putting your faith in the hands of a flying machine and someone flying it can be tough. You are far from alone with flying anxiety. But people beat it and end up enjoying, or at least not minding it. It can be done, it has been done.
 
denkcflyer
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:46 pm

True about the crash reports... my fear of flying did start around the time I developed an interest in aviation and reading and learning about crashes.

As far as turbulence goes, I don’t know that those forecasting sites are always the most accurate, or rather how relevant they will be to your flight. I have used those before and flew through areas of “red” that were nothing more than mild turbulence/bumps.
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:11 pm

timh4000 wrote:
Reading and watching crash reports is not a good idea. I went through a phase where I was watching them and I remember being too aware of anything that was going on while flying. It wasn't to the phobia stage but my normal relaxing feeling while flying wasn't as relaxing. I do like watching turbulent landings and take offs though. Everyone lives lol. Plus I've been through a few of those myself. Frequent flyers probably more than they can count. I talked to the female captain who got off to stretch her legs before the next flight. She actually said she enjoys those landings as a challenge. It was on one of my emb145 flights landing in Albany. She did a good job btw, squared it up a cpl seconds b4 landing and touched down decently considering.

Go to an airport, a busy one and watch flight after flight after flight take off and land successfully. The odds of death by airplane crash is astronomical in terms of how low the odds are. Thousands of career pilots have flown tens of thousands of flights and live. Its honestly safer in the air than driving to the airport by a tremendous margin. Lastly, don't beat yourself up over the anxiety. The human body hasn't had time to adjust to our technology and it's very common for people to feel anxiety flying 7 miles up at 500mph. Especially when YOU have no control. Putting your faith in the hands of a flying machine and someone flying it can be tough. You are far from alone with flying anxiety. But people beat it and end up enjoying, or at least not minding it. It can be done, it has been done.


Yeah I went through a phase like that where I was watching Air Crash Investigations hasn't done me good. The thought of the plane I'm on buffeting and bouncing up and down several hundred feet in the air while flying over thunderstorms or being hit by a massive mountain wave on approach into Athens
 
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Seabear
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:40 pm

My sister-in-law's husband used to require multiple courses of tequila & jaegermeister in order to board a plane. Needless to say, that's probably the worst way possible to get past the anxiety.
 
timh4000
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:33 am

I know a cpl ppl who simply won't get on a plane. And my late mother wouldn't fly to save her life, which is one reason I only flew once until I was 18.
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:45 pm

I think a lot of my issues is anticipatory anxiety for terrible turbulence or something like that.
 
BuddhaBoy
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:14 pm

Everyone has great suggestion's... Take them all into account.
A great thing to do ifyou have the time and a spare bit of cash is to actually get out and fly a plane. At my local airport you can get 30 minute circuit flights for £30.00, the price etc will vary of course in different countries/aerodromes... But it probably wont cost much more than a fear of flying course in most cases and you'll actually have the chance to get behind the yoke and be "in control" with an instructor next to you, and they will be happy to answer any questions too. Also, light aircraft do feel different from being in a jet, so you will see how different aircraft feel... Flying is super safe!!
 
timh4000
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:32 pm

I like what buddha boy has to say. It's something I hadn't thought of, doing a few circuits with light aircraft. And it is a different feel. And when they let you make a few turns to get a feel of actual flying (I've never done it) but it's got me thinking about it. It's been forever since I've ridden a pax prop let alone a small craft. I enjoy that in it's own way. Get a good feel for that. Then the super safe automation of airliners.... today I flew home from philly. We had a 1 hr maintenance delay and it didnt bother me a bit, the thought of it. The pilots aren't gonna fly on a wing and a prayer cowboy Yahoo style. They aren't going up till they know it's safe, as much for themselves as for us. I felt fully secure that whatever took an hr to fix made for a safe flight, and it was, nothing I noticed. Took off with plenty of power climbed with ease, landed nicely. But as I've said, don't beat yourself up over the anxiety. Give yourself time to feel comfortable.
 
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N776AU
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:42 pm

As an aviation nut, turned nervous flyer (turns out discovering you're afraid of heights on an American MD-80 making a steep turn over Albuquerque isn't the best place), turned back aviation nut, I hope I can offer a few words of wisdom. I still have to fight back the anxiety from time to time. I have the same issue feeling like not being in control (can't speak for turbulence. Somehow that never bothered me).

My coping mechanism, even to this day, is hyper-familiarizing myself with the flight plan and departure/approach patterns of the airports I'm using. That way I know what to expect. Flight Aware and FlightRadar24 do the job quite nicely (added bonus if you have wifi in flight and can follow in real time).

My other thing is distraction. If I have wifi, check FlightRadar24 and see if I can see any of the planes flying near us, or just surf the internet in general. I try to play a game with myself as well where I look out the window and try to figure out where we are without the aid of the flight map, then look at the map and see if I'm right.

Just a couple of things. I hope you'll be able to move past it. It's tough, but once you do, it makes flying great fun.
Careful, doors are closing, and will not reopen. Please wait for the next train.
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:38 pm

N776AU wrote:
As an aviation nut, turned nervous flyer (turns out discovering you're afraid of heights on an American MD-80 making a steep turn over Albuquerque isn't the best place), turned back aviation nut, I hope I can offer a few words of wisdom. I still have to fight back the anxiety from time to time. I have the same issue feeling like not being in control (can't speak for turbulence. Somehow that never bothered me).

My coping mechanism, even to this day, is hyper-familiarizing myself with the flight plan and departure/approach patterns of the airports I'm using. That way I know what to expect. Flight Aware and FlightRadar24 do the job quite nicely (added bonus if you have wifi in flight and can follow in real time).

My other thing is distraction. If I have wifi, check FlightRadar24 and see if I can see any of the planes flying near us, or just surf the internet in general. I try to play a game with myself as well where I look out the window and try to figure out where we are without the aid of the flight map, then look at the map and see if I'm right.

Just a couple of things. I hope you'll be able to move past it. It's tough, but once you do, it makes flying great fun.


I do those things too. Also check the weather forecasts.
 
ncflyer
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:05 pm

Mid air turbulence is what makes me scared. Totally irrational I know— but it’s not like I’m telling myself to make my palms sweat like Niagara Falls. Ironically, even though landings are in theory more dangerous and can be very bumpy, they don’t bother me, and the reason is they will be over in a time certain. I wish pilots would announce more frequently expected duration of turbulence but they seldom do.
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:16 pm

ncflyer wrote:
Mid air turbulence is what makes me scared. Totally irrational I know— but it’s not like I’m telling myself to make my palms sweat like Niagara Falls. Ironically, even though landings are in theory more dangerous and can be very bumpy, they don’t bother me, and the reason is they will be over in a time certain. I wish pilots would announce more frequently expected duration of turbulence but they seldom do.


Same here with the mid air turbulence and I'm always waiting for it to shake the plane like crazy. I'm flying to Greece in few days and the landing bit is worrying me a bit, like if there will be massive turbulence.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:48 pm

ncflyer wrote:
Mid air turbulence is what makes me scared. Totally irrational I know— but it’s not like I’m telling myself to make my palms sweat like Niagara Falls. Ironically, even though landings are in theory more dangerous and can be very bumpy, they don’t bother me, and the reason is they will be over in a time certain. I wish pilots would announce more frequently expected duration of turbulence but they seldom do.


Because in many (or most) cases, they have no good way of knowing with any real accuracy, and it doesn't serve anybody's purposes if they tell the passengers and get it wrong. They usually do tell the passengers if they have a good idea of the duration and don't expect it to change in the time while they're flying through it.

Truth be told, though, some pilots just care more about passenger comfort than others. Some pilots are like some doctors; they don't really care how comfortable you are, they only care about how safe you are. As long as they know you're safe, they're not going to bother telling you anything.

Just remember that, in addition to all the forecasts and other weather info pilots have, you are not the only plane out there. Unless you're on some real backwoods route from some small town somewhere to another small town, there are other planes that are flying through the same air mass you are. Even with GPS, pilots still navigate via waypoints, and they're all using the same ones. So if a plane that's 5 or 10 miles ahead of you hasn't had any problems, you aren't going to either. (This is also how pilots know they can ascend or descend for smoother air, based on reports from other pilots. But this *is* just for passenger comfort when it happens, not safety.)

Also remember that even in cases where planes have hit severe or extreme turbulence, the plane itself pretty much always ends up fine. (You can go back 50 years and find examples where that wasn't the case, but I can't think of a modern airliner that's broken up due to turbulence of any intensity.) As long as you keep yourself strapped in while seated, you're not going to die because of turbulence. Your biggest worry when it comes to turbulence should be some freak thing like the drink cart falling on your leg. But that's probably not going to kill you even if it happens.
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akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:10 pm

Accuweather predicts for Thursday when I fly "Variable cloudiness, a shower or thunderstorm around " arghhhh
 
spacecadet
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:37 pm

akb88 wrote:
Accuweather predicts for Thursday when I fly "Variable cloudiness, a shower or thunderstorm around " arghhhh


Remember that if you know that, your pilots do too. And they have far more detailed and accurate weather forecasts than Accuweather.
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akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:22 am

spacecadet wrote:
akb88 wrote:
Accuweather predicts for Thursday when I fly "Variable cloudiness, a shower or thunderstorm around " arghhhh


Remember that if you know that, your pilots do too. And they have far more detailed and accurate weather forecasts than Accuweather.


That's true.
In general how much bumpiness could I expect?
 
spacecadet
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:30 pm

akb88 wrote:
spacecadet wrote:
akb88 wrote:
Accuweather predicts for Thursday when I fly "Variable cloudiness, a shower or thunderstorm around " arghhhh


Remember that if you know that, your pilots do too. And they have far more detailed and accurate weather forecasts than Accuweather.


That's true.
In general how much bumpiness could I expect?


There is no way to know this far out with a general forecast like the one you have. Thunderstorms obviously come with turbulence but your pilots will not be flying through them (it can sometimes look like they do, but they don't... there's a difference between a thunderstorm 20 miles to the right and another type of rain cloud that you might actually be in, even though they might seem physically connected).

Personally, just based on that forecast alone, I might expect occasional light turbulence. Your pilots will fly around any thunderstorms in the area, and while you might fly through some other clouds, you'll likely get above them soon enough.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:12 pm

God I'm so anxious it's pathetic. This is the forecast. Is this worrying to anyone here?

https://www.accuweather.com/en/gr/athen ... 2536?day=3
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:59 am

akb88 wrote:
Sooo I feel a bit silly posting this but I have to, have had this discussion before bit now I want to actively talk about tips to get over this. OK so few years ago I started to develop a phobia about flying, it hasn't stopped me to fly though, I just get really anxious. Basically I've started to not like to be not in control and really start feeling nervous during turbulence. Any tips on overcoming this turbulence fear?
Also, the news lately have me concerned of some mechanical issue or bad training bringing us down. I'm flying Icelandair, SAS and Condor.
How unfounded are my fears? Turbuelence isn't dangerous right? And mechanical issues that are so severe never really happen anymore.


As for turbulence, try flying on red eyes if possible. I have noticed that there is less rough weather at night.
 
akb88
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:46 pm

Well I survived the first flight. Now it's the scary one! Flying over Europe and into Greece where the forecasts says thunderstorms! What can I expect turbulence wise?!
Accuweather says this: https://www.accuweather.com/en/gr/athen ... 2536?day=1
I have never flown in or near t-storms so I'm scared. I'm landing at around 8 30ish in the evening. I hope it'll be gone by then
 
timh4000
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:13 am

Reading where people are having issues with turbulence. Planes, even back in the 707 days could take massive turbulence. Today even more so. Wings are more flexible which while it may look scary help to lessen the intensity on the plane itself. Not that it otherwise couldn't handle it, but pax don't have to experience as much discomfort and the airframe goes through less stress, allowing airlines to fly them longer. Btw, while you may think you are being g buffeted around hundreds of feet, it's actually far less in all but the very worst cases. 50 feet is about all the plane gets bumped around on even fairly severe turbulence. Also btw, pilots are human and many probably aren't big fans of it either. Flying as often as they do they've experienced it more and are trained to operate in it, but that doesn't mean they like it either. Maybe some do, you d have to pose the question to them, but when available they can and will slightly alter their course or altitude to avoid as much of it as they can. Sometimes its unavoidable, like during take off or landing. Sometimes it pops up unexpectedly. They tend to know the general area of turbulence and most pilots will prepare the pax and crew. Modern planes are built to withstand the highest wind velocity ever recorded. It may not be comfortable. I've experienced one really bad bout of turbulence landing in Pittsburgh. fortunately it abated at a cpl thousand feet so the actual landing itself was smooth. I've experienced other fairly severe bouts of it, and I'm sure frequent flyers could talk about their experiences all day. And that's the point in the end. Everyone lives to talk about the turbulence.
 
denkcflyer
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:38 am

How’d it go?
 
VapourTrails
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:20 am

akb88 wrote:
I think a lot of my issues is anticipatory anxiety for terrible turbulence or something like that.


It’s been four months in between flights for me and that is a bit of time by my standards in recent years. During that time, I feel my confidence has been shaken by the second MAX 8 crash, and the Atlas Air crash this year.

Anticipatory anxiety for me currently is.. feeling physically sick, heart is pounding, or at least it feels that way. The FitBit is working hard LOL. Thoughts about any number of things that could go wrong, so many scenarios. That one I’ve had before. Completely irrational.

All the while looking quite calm on the outside. Once I’m on the flight though and we’re away I’m a lot better. That is the current pattern. I am a fair weather flyer I tell people - but it doesn’t work like that does it! But the weather can be fine and I can still look like a deer caught in a spotlight.

I don’t tend to get the sweaty palms just prior to landing like I used to. I just have to deal with whatever my psyche throws up at me. I don’t need to fly for work, but I do want to travel, and I have family I need to see and want to spend quality time with.

Might sound like a silly scenario but I liken it to surfing. I am just riding the wave. I even managed to settle down and read a chapter of a new book quite comfortably before I reached my final destination. Phew.
A.net member: 2001-2004, 2014-
 
ncflyer
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:43 am

A lot of the responses on here deal with the rational. i.e. planes don’t fall from the sky, they can handle tremendous winds, pilots are very well trained, etc etc.

But the problem is— like so many phobias, the fear isn’t rational! Fear of heights, claustrophobia, fear of spiders— not like people die from those things either yet the fears persist.

My fear of flying is pretty mild compared to some of the posters. So I’ve never tried this tip— but I’ve read that it works— during periods of discomfort, write with your left hand, assuming you’re right handed. I think there’s something about engaging your opposite side of the brain for a different activity that helps to distract. Certainly an easy thing to try.
 
EricAY05
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:16 am

ncflyer wrote:
Mid air turbulence is what makes me scared. Totally irrational I know— but it’s not like I’m telling myself to make my palms sweat like Niagara Falls. Ironically, even though landings are in theory more dangerous and can be very bumpy, they don’t bother me, and the reason is they will be over in a time certain. I wish pilots would announce more frequently expected duration of turbulence but they seldom do.


Same here. I'm kind of scared of having to be scared. When the turbulence starts, I know that it might get rougher and I know that I will be more uncomfortable then :D Experiencing turbulence while crossing oceans at night is the worst! Could not really care less about turbulence during landing or even take-off.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Tips on beating flying phobia.

Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:16 am

ncflyer wrote:
A lot of the responses on here deal with the rational. i.e. planes don’t fall from the sky, they can handle tremendous winds, pilots are very well trained, etc etc.

But the problem is— like so many phobias, the fear isn’t rational!


I understand that and have been there. I had a mishap in a DC-10 when I was 8 years old and flying alone that scarred me for a long time. It became an irrational fear, even though it was based on something that actually happened.

The thing is, the only way to combat the irrational is with the rational. Irrationality is losing a sense of what's normal and creating your own incorrect sense of normalcy. You then have to be convinced again of what normal really is. There is no way to do that except by providing rational arguments and doing it over and over through repetition.

For myself, I lived near airports for many years after my mishap, and I read a lot of stuff (including forum threads like this). Eventually what I think finally killed my fear was the idea that I'm not special. All these other people fly every day and they're fine - why am *I* so special as to be the one who crashes? The trick was in being convinced of how many people do fly every day without a problem - just seeing a bunch of numbers didn't really do it, but actually watching planes taking off and landing constantly eventually did. But that's a totally rational response to an irrational feeling.

That's why some people say just flying a lot will cure the fear too. That worked for my brother, who had a similar fear (but for different reasons than me). He loves flying now. So do I, really, as long as it's not in economy! But I'm actually in training to become a commercial pilot right now. When I'm flying, I don't have any fear whatsoever. It literally doesn't even occur to me to be scared, when 5 or 10 years ago I'd have been clutching the arm rest of my seat on takeoff and landing. And that's all just come through repetition of seeing other people fly, reading about how safe flying is and finally realizing that I'm not going to be one of the one in 100 million people who dies in a plane crash, because I'm just not that special.
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