Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest Ps762

Advice for a nervous flier who would like to enjoy flying fear free(!)

Recommended Posts

Guest Ps762

Hi,Just thought I'd try to ask if anyone might have any advice for a nervous flier (to say the least!) who would like to be able to enjoy flying fear free. I go flying with airlines like Ryanair sometimes here and I make it but normally it's quite an ordeal (I worry that I'll fall from a great height or that I'll have a heart attack from the fear etc.).On the other hand I read a website I think called Fearofflyinghelp written by an airline pilot and that helped quite a lot. I know about the layers of safety in aviation (the plane has to pass certification tests and has redundancy, the maintenance people take their job very seriously and the pilots who take safety seriously also all adds up to some good layers of safety).But I still get quite nervous so any advice/info etc. which might help my situation would be greatly appreciated.Many thanks,Pierre

Share this post


Link to post
Hi,Just thought I'd try to ask if anyone might have any advice for a nervous flier (to say the least!) who would like to be able to enjoy flying fear free. I go flying with airlines like Ryanair sometimes here and I make it but normally it's quite an ordeal (I worry that I'll fall from a great height or that I'll have a heart attack from the fear etc.).On the other hand I read a website I think called Fearofflyinghelp written by an airline pilot and that helped quite a lot. I know about the layers of safety in aviation (the plane has to pass certification tests and has redundancy, the maintenance people take their job very seriously and the pilots who take safety seriously also all adds up to some good layers of safety).But I still get quite nervous so any advice/info etc. which might help my situation would be greatly appreciated.Many thanks,Pierre
Pierre,The best thing you can do is go learn to fly yourself-I can say from personal experience it works! This cured the fear for me which was instilled as a kid in me by my mom being (& still is) petrified by flying. You will actually find it is the lack of control that bothers you more than the flying itself.I've been flying for 20 years now, have a commercial muti rating,love it, and my mom will fly with me fear free-though the airlines still petrify her. (control again!).I was flying the other day with a renouned & experienced instructor who told me he once was so afraid of flying he would carry a spare set of shoes as his feet would be drenched by the time he landed. He said he finally determined to conquer this fear by learning to fly-and it did!

Share this post


Link to post

Geofa's advice is excellent. Go to your local airport and get an introduction flight from one of the flight schools. Tell them the situation, you're a little nervous of flying and would like to overcome it. You'll get to try the controls and see how they affects the airplane.While you're at it, grab a copy of Rod Machado's book called Plane Talk. It has a lot of well written humorous short stories on the human aspects of aviation which really help to put the fun back into flying. It has a dedicated chapter on Fear and how it affects flying. You'll learn to understand that fear (of falling among many) is a necessary human condition to keep you alive! Nothing wrong with that, it's normal and there are ways to control it.And don't worry, there is no way to get a heart attack or pass out from fear no matter how horrible it feels. That's movie stuff :(

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Ps762

Hi,Just to say merci for the replies etc.Will hopefully go tomorrow (weather permitting as it is pretty windy here in London at the moment) and will try to post how it went (hopefully fear-free!).Many thanks,Pierre.

Share this post


Link to post
Hi,Just to say merci for the replies etc.Will hopefully go tomorrow (weather permitting as it is pretty windy here in London at the moment) and will try to post how it went (hopefully fear-free!).Many thanks,Pierre.
I'm not sure if they still do it, but didn't British Airways use to have the fear of flying flights? I think I recall seeing a BAe-146 filled with people afraid of flying where the Captain told them everything going on for the whole flight, etc......Looked to see if I could find it. I'm not positive this is the one I saw in the video (I can't find the video now), but: http://www.aviatours.co.uk/I hope that this may help!

Share this post


Link to post

Also, you many want to grab yourself a realistic add-on of an airliner for the sim...learn how to use it..and learn all the proper procedures and different parts of the flight. I never had a fear of flying, but now whenever I do fly IRL i know exactly what's going on in that cockpit, and that may reassure you.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Ps762

Hi,Just wanted to say a quick merci for the replies etc. The lesson is meant to be for tomorrow (weather permitting) so will try to write back about how it went etc.Many thanks,Pierre.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Ps762

Hi,Just to write back a little on how the lesson went. I was definitely scared for most of the flight but on the plus side I never felt claustrophibic or that I wanted to leave the plane or had to go back. We went to 1,400ft and then to 2,400ft and at 1,400ft I felt very safe and 2,400ft wasn't too bad either (I get worse with the height). The instructor showed me that the aircraft wants to fly by itself by leaving the controls and just watching it fly which helped a bit and also watching how dilligently he was scanning and taking safety seriously helped too. The approach and overhead join to land with the downwind and final etc. was actually even fun (mainly because I knew my feet would be on the ground soon!).Hopefully will get better with time. I have another lesson booked for Tuesday and can only hope I might be a little less scared this time.Many thanks,Pierre.

Share this post


Link to post
Hi,Just to write back a little on how the lesson went. I was definitely scared for most of the flight but on the plus side I never felt claustrophibic or that I wanted to leave the plane or had to go back. We went to 1,400ft and then to 2,400ft and at 1,400ft I felt very safe and 2,400ft wasn't too bad either (I get worse with the height). The instructor showed me that the aircraft wants to fly by itself by leaving the controls and just watching it fly which helped a bit and also watching how dilligently he was scanning and taking safety seriously helped too. The approach and overhead join to land with the downwind and final etc. was actually even fun (mainly because I knew my feet would be on the ground soon!).Hopefully will get better with time. I have another lesson booked for Tuesday and can only hope I might be a little less scared this time.Many thanks,Pierre.
Well I think it is very cool that you taking this head on like this. Another couple lessons and I bet you will love it!

Share this post


Link to post

Geofa gave some great advice in a earlier post and Pierre way to tackle your fear head on. Good luck in your flying, it gets better/easier/enjoyable the more time you spend in the air.

Share this post


Link to post

Figured I'd share this.I have a buddy who was in your situation. He was so bad that he went to go see a therapist, after he could not or would not enjoy his honeymoon, since he dreaded the flight back. According to his wife he threw up the whole way there and back just from nerves. The therapist discovered that his fear wasn't about flying, but trust. When he was in the military, he had no problem being in the back, while up front they dodged power lines and Al Gore planting trees. Never once felt nervous during any of it, he trusted the training of the pilots. So now every time he flies he sticks his head in the cockpit and asks if any were military, if none are he gets off the plane. We both flew from KORD to OMDB to visit a friend, first KORD to KJFK flight we sat out, no .mil up front. KJFK to OMDB was a testing flight to say the least. Worst flight I have ever taken, bumpy to the point I felt lousy. When I ask him about the bumps, all he said was that Tornado pilots fly low and in crappy weather, so this is nothing to them. Not a complete cure but it works for him.

Share this post


Link to post

A few airlines run 'fear of flying' courses, which invariably take the form of a morning's lecture about aeroplanes and air traffic control, a look around an airliner and its systems, and a short flight in the thing. Most of the fear of flying stems from a fear of the unknown and a feeling that one is not in control of some aspect of the flight, so the key to conquering that, more than anything else, is understanding.You should try to determine exactly what it is you are unsettled by, which could be a lot of things, such as fear of a collision in the air, fear of the aircraft developing a fault, a lack of trust in the crew, fear of heights or whatever. Once you know exactly what that fear is, you can attempt to address it, since although it is likely to be irrational, it no doubt feels very real and rational to you at the moment, and certainly when you step on a plane.I'd advise you to go on an airline 'fear of flying' course, as they are pretty much guaranteed to solve your problem and the staff on those courses are specifically skilled and able to address the issues you have. You could also take the advice of others and look into learning to fly, but I'd suggest that it is not such a great idea right now, since the instructor's abilities lie in teaching you to fly, and not in the psychological problems associated with the fear of flying. Once you have overcome those, that would be the time to try flying lessons, and not when you are scared of the concept of it.You might be interested to know that despite being an aerobatic pilot myself, who really loves flying aircraft and throwing spins and loops etc, I am actually afraid of heights, and I don't like leaning on the parapet of buildings when up high! But that discomfort when up a high building does not translate to fear when in aeroplanes, since I know that I will not fall. What solved that dilemma was my first flight in a glider, which is interesting, since the position in the cockpit places you right near the wings, and it almost feels like the wings are sprouting from your shoulders. That might sound a bit silly, but it was that feeling, which reinforced the notion to me that you are attached to the aircraft, which overcame the fear of height for me when in an aircraft, since if you are 'attached' to the aircraft (physically and psychologically), then you know you won't fall.Al

Share this post


Link to post

Before I learned to fly and overcame my fear of flying (and heights), I used to find that a couple of large whiskeys would help me relax on holiday flights.IAN

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Ps762

Hello(!),Just to say merci for the replies etc. I took my second lesson which was still pretty scary for me but then I came flying to Norway with Ryanair and I felt much better in cruise. The problem for me is falling from a great height (like an in flight breakup). Once I understood that in flight breakups do happen and that there is a possibility that I'll fall from a great height but that it's a very small possibility I chilled out quite a bit (hopefully!). The aircraft aren't 100 percent safe and occasionally they do fall from the sky but it's very rarely so I guess I can chill out.Have another flight in a Piper Warrior today so hopefully I'll keep doing better with it.Many thanks,Pierre.

Share this post


Link to post
Hello(!),Just to say merci for the replies etc. I took my second lesson which was still pretty scary for me but then I came flying to Norway with Ryanair and I felt much better in cruise. The problem for me is falling from a great height (like an in flight breakup). Once I understood that in flight breakups do happen and that there is a possibility that I'll fall from a great height but that it's a very small possibility I chilled out quite a bit (hopefully!). The aircraft aren't 100 percent safe and occasionally they do fall from the sky but it's very rarely so I guess I can chill out.Have another flight in a Piper Warrior today so hopefully I'll keep doing better with it.Many thanks,Pierre.
It's so rare, there's a million other ways you're a million times more likely to die doing......than having an airplane break apart.I think you're more likely to die by cleaning your house and breathing the wrong fume than dieing of an airplane that falls from the sky.That said, Keep flying......It will remove your fear. I always used to feel very "Uncomfortable" in airliners for the same reason as you, i wouldn't call it so much as a heavy fear......but definitely a feeling of discomfort. that feeling stayed with me untill about 10-20 hours into my PPL. Becoming at that heigh became routine, and something I no longer feared after a bit of time getting used to it. *I love airplanes anyways, so this helped me get past my discomforts*.as of Today, I have about 42 hours in the 172SP.......finished my first flight in the Archer yesterday, The Instructor said everything looked good so next flight we'll run through the Emergency procedures, do some more maneuvers, and I'll get put on the insurance and have the keys to both the archer, And the 172 :( It feels good to move along the chain in aviation hahah. can't wait to start my Instrument Rating.Keep at it, there's nothing more free than to enjoy the privelage of Flight.

Share this post


Link to post
×
×
  • Create New...