Scared of flying

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  • Scared of flying
  • iolo
    Member

    I travel quite a lot around Europe as I live in uk and Austria. I fly 5, maybe 6 times a month to various locations (only Europe).
    I’m currently on a plane to Zurich then on to Manchester and really am bricking it.
    It seems to be getting worse.
    Does anyone have any cures?

    mogrim
    Member

    Valium and whisky.

    fasthaggis
    Member

    Crashes in Europe are rare ,focus on the positive.

    HTH ๐Ÿ™‚

    iolo
    Member

    I have both. The whiskey is an expensive birthday gift and is in the hold.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    BA do a course. My daughter has taken it. I wouldn’t say she is cured but it has helped. She has also had some 1-1 counselling which also helped. Probably not on the recommended list but she takes advantage of the free beverage.

    I would say respect to your for taking that many flights per month.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    I hate the procedure at the airports. I love the experience of flying. Being an aviation nut has been in me since I can remember and my little brain is on overdrive when I’m flying. I don’t see it as a means of transport really, hard to explain.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Maybe Fred could help?

    If only you had his email address ๐Ÿ˜‰

    ElShalimo
    Member

    I used to fly to Europe every month and had far too many bumpy flights.
    I hate flying now but the one thing thatt helps is knowing that nobody wants to arrive safely more than the highly trained professional pilot, who probably has a family or partner waiting for them.

    Lay off the booze and try deep breathing and stretches during the flight. If its all short hops then the queuing and dealing with moronic passengers is probably more hazardous

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Subscriber

    Try the Paul McKenna Total Flying Confidence cd.
    I’ve never used it myself but my mother has and she’s gone from being a complete wreck when she’s flying to being pretty happy and comfortable with it.

    peterfile
    Member

    I’d recommend Xanax (or similar) over valium if it’s for more regular flying. Valium has a super long half life, so if you’re taking it more than once every couple of weeks you’re never fully getting rid of it. Tolerance and dependency are an issue (as with any benzo).

    Xanax is much shorter acting and has barely any hypnotic (sleepy) effect compared to valium, so you’re arriving at your destination less like a zombie. You can get it on a private prescription in the UK (it’s cheaper than a regular one too)

    If you can avoid the drug route then do so, keep benzos for when you REALLY need them. But for some, in the short/immediate term that’s just not an option, especially if you have no choice but to travel.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I’ve got 15 years of dealing with this I can regurgitate. Currently mobile I’ll add some stuff later when back on a keyboard….

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    1. Tell the airline before you fly, so they can tell the cabin crew, who are generally pretty good at helping with this. They might move you to somewhere where you can see them (and vice versa).

    2. Try the fear of flying courses – BA and EasyJet as mentioned both do them.

    3. Pick a seat at the front. On the stretch variants of short-haul aircraft the bumps are significantly more pronounced at the back. In the cockpit the tea might ripple, in the back someone’s knocked off their feet.

    4. Don’t go for valium/whiskey options. You might (a) make yourself sick, (b) make a complete tit of yourself, and/or (c) be incapable of escaping the aeroplane if something does go wrong.

    5. Pilots have a vested interest in getting home safely with the minimum of paperwork. That works in your favour.

    6. The most dangerous part of any flight is the drive to the airport.

    drapper
    Member

    everything Flaperon said is NAIL on head!

    agent007
    Member

    Might sound counter productive but why not tackle the problem head on, rather than just try to mask the symptoms? Maybe book an hours trial flight in a small twin seater at your local flying school where they let you handle the controls a little bit.

    It worked completely for a work colleague (although she did take some convincing) and having spent an hour flying in a fabric winged microlight with an instructor, commercial flights in a big jet are now no longer a problem.

    A little understanding and flight experience go a long way it would seem and in a small plane the sensations of flying are much greater. You feel every single little bit of turbulence and realise that air movement is just part of normal flying and rarely dangerous.

    jools182
    Member

    I hate it too lately

    Which is strange as I’ve been to australia before

    My main thing is claustrophobia

    I went on the Virgin fear of flying course last year, and went up for 40 mins

    LHS
    Member

    Having been involved in the design and testing of the majority of aircraft systems over the years I can tell you there is nothing to worry about. Just don’t fly 787. ๐Ÿ˜€

    marcus7
    Member

    I’m quite suprised that the “get a new job that doesn’t involve flying” comment hasn’t been made yet in the usual caring sharing STW way ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Can you isolate what it is about commercial flying you are now struggling to tolerate?

    Premier Icon funkrodent
    Subscriber

    Years ago was with a party of fellow students flying to the States, one of whom (a good mate called Josh) was very, very nervous having never flown before. A mate of mine in the party had forgotten to send a letter to the bank that had to go before he flew and was in the process of writing the address on the envelope when Josh (who nad never flown) asked him what he was doing. “Just sending off my will” said Paul, “Have you done yours?” He went white, but then laughed so much that he pretty much forgot that he was afraid in the first place.

    Totally irrelevant I guess, and in bad taste, but bottom line is that statistically flying is by far and away the safest form of mass transport. You’re far more likely to be hurt driving a car, or even crossing a road, than you are flying in a plane. If you really want to up the stakes of course, you could take up a highly dangerous extreme sport like mountain biking… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Now there’s real danger lurking…

    compositepro
    Member

    crashes in europe are rare and statistically are two things which make for comedy gold

    i can tell you some right stories about very very expensive subassemblies for aircrafT, and enginE components that as they neared the end of their process and got more and more valuable in terms of “holy shit we can’t scrap this value” you know stuff that gets bodged before it gets to the inspectors so it doesn’t fail

    would i get on a plane with certain engines on it would i ****

    and to be honest neither would you if you knew

    SCARED OF FLYING YOUVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE ITS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE SOMETHING CATHES UP WITH THE BODGED PARTS

    terrorism isn’t even a dot on the landscape compared to whats hidden mechanically waiting to go wrong

    poof here one minute dropping out of the sky the next

    holy **** dont even get me started with carbon jets…jeeeeeeesus

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    To cut my contribution short, it was everything Flaperon said – especially coffee & alchohol, don’t drink those as they heighten anxiety and can reduce the effect of some meds. Which brings me to those – I’m in such a state that I’ve no other option than Diazepam for short haul, and Tamazipam to knock me out long haul. Trust me, I’m that bad that if I am woken up I’m perfectly capable of escaping.

    I started with a trip to New Zealand, then Malaysia for business – no issue. However I did several years back an forth to Shetland & the Western Isles. The resulting tubulence, missed runways, urgent “between storm” takeoff’s and sideways landings have left me quivering in-flight. No issues with Planes in general, noises, mechanics, take off or landing.

    I’ve done the Fear of Flying courses, Hypnosis, reading, CBT, TFT and taking control to no avail. At the end of the day, I get on a Gatwick and wake up 1/2 hour before we land in Barbados and that’s how I like it.

    agent007
    Member

    The resulting tubulence, missed runways, urgent “between storm” takeoff’s and sideways landings have left me quivering in-flight.

    But these are all part of normal flying:

    Missed Runways – probably the result of a go-around due to the pilots deciding not to progress with the landing for a whole variety of reasons. Standard operating procedure and practiced over and over again.

    Turbulence – air movement, could be likened to how waves or current affect a boat? Feels strange but almost certainly nothing to worry about. The bigger the aircraft the less you will feel this. You should see the turbulence tests they conduct on aircraft before getting certified. Saw the wing of a 777 being bent in such a test so that the wingtip was almost vertical before it finally failed.

    Urgent Takeoffs – Can’t comment on individual situations but commercial pilots are in constant contact with ATC regarding weather conditions, factor this into a pre-flight plan and no pilot would be taking off unless 100% happy things were safe.

    Sideways Landings – Simply a correction for a crosswind, (or in smaller aircraft a sideslip can be induced to loose height quickly) – again completely normal procedure and nothing to worry about?

    This is not meant to sound patronising in any way, just to help put things into perspective.

    monkfish
    Member

    I found a hypnotherapy session worked to a degree before a flight to HK. I still dislike it and find every minute in the air lasts 3 times longer than a minute on a turbo trainer.

    People can spout as much as they like about how safe it is but that makes no difference, its an irrational fear.

    Tallpaul
    Member

    Same boat for me. I’ve grown increasingly nervous about flying. I fly regularly for work and holidays, including plenty of long haul trips.

    My anxiety peaked with a meltdown pre-flight on a trip to Germany that resulted in me walking off the plane just as they were about to close the doors! I’ve flown since, within UK and felt very panicky but managed both ways. Have a couple of long haul trips coming up which I am dreading but have booked the EasyJet ‘Fearless Flyer’ course to try and get back to my old self.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    agent007 – Member
    The resulting tubulence, missed runways, urgent “between storm” takeoff’s and sideways landings have left me quivering in-flight.
    But these are all part of normal flying:

    Missed Runways – probably the result of a go-around due to the pilots deciding not to progress with the landing in a Gales force wind – 3 times in Aberdeen, once in Shetland and 1 approach x 4 in Glasgow. Plus an incident on a 15 seater proper where the oncoming gust almost killed the props on approach. That last one had everyone screaming.

    Turbulence – air movement, could be likened to how waves or current affect a boat? Feels strange but almost certainly nothing to worry about. The bigger the aircraft the less you will feel this. You should see the turbulence tests they conduct on aircraft before getting certified. Saw the wing of a 777 being bent in such a test so that the wingtip was almost vertical before it finally failed. Sure, but if your are irrationally scared of falling, Turbulence becomes a much bigger issue.

    Urgent Takeoffs – Snowing heavily in Shetland / Gales in Western Isles – both urgent dashes to a plane to fly, max power takeoffs through lesser weather systems on the basis that any delay would force an in flight issue. Neither helped my confidence.

    Sideways Landings – Simply a correction for a crosswind, (or in smaller aircraft a sideslip can be induced to loose height quickly) – again completely normal procedure and nothing to worry about? Ever landed in Shetland? Its a 45 degree bank over the bay – aka the plane isn’t level and to a non pilot in its optimum flying position – in a gale, coming onto the landing strip at a severe angle, banging onto the tarmac then having the tale violently whipped round

    I’ve edited that to reflect the reality of my situation ^^ Add it all up then add an irrational fear of falling (so my hypnotherapist told me, perhaps backed up by the fact I have a fear of bridges) and you’ll see where I’m at.

    I forgot to add flying through a violent thunderstorm in KL, finding an abandoned bag in an airplane toilet, and a 1000ft (so the pilot said) drop into an air pocket back from the caribbean once.

    It would seem I’ve run my fair share of unlucky incidents.

    Yeah I had one of those down-drafts after leaving Turin in the thunder storm. You could hear all the plastic in the plane’s cabin straining as the fuselage distorted at the bottom of the drop. Gave me the buzz! Amazing things modern planes.

    Tallpaul
    Member

    @ Kryton57

    If you park the irrationality, can you find any comfort in the fact you’ve been through all that and still walked safely from every single flight?

    wobbliscott
    Member

    I can’t offer any advice as to how to deal with your anxieties, but hopefully you can take some comfort in the knowledge that even if you defy the astronomical odds of being involved in an air accident, the statistics say you are overwhelmingly likely to survive. In the recent Asiana B777 crash at San Francisco everyone survived the crash. Unfortunately 2 people died afterwards when, I believe, they were hit by one of the emergency vehicles rushing to their aid.

    As for the mechanical robustness of modern aircraft, again it is a fact that the overwhelmingly majority (i.e. 99.something %) of air accidents are not due to a failure of the aircraft. The aircraft themselves are very robust and have multiple redundancy built in, so if a component or system fails then there are back-ups. Often the passengers will have no knowledge of a component or system failure and the flight more often than not continues to the destination leaving the passengers to enjoy the in-flight entertainment sipping their G&Tโ€™s in blissful ignorance.

    I’m a frequent flyer but have been on a number of hairy flights where Iโ€™ve been glad to get on the ground even though I know that i’ll be OK, I was scared. Itโ€™s an unjustified fear, but weโ€™re only human afterall. Sorry I canโ€™t offer any advice on how to deal with the fear.

    bartezz
    Member

    I am a frequent flyer like yourself and also an ex aircraft engineer.

    I went through a phase of the same fears creeping in too at the beginning of the year.

    I just found I was overthinking the whole thing. We put our faith in muppets behind the wheel of a car every day whether we are cycling or in our cars, but we don’t get the same fears.

    My conclusion was that there are many checks and failsafes in the aircraft industry that I shouldn’t be worrying about it.

    Edric 64
    Member

    I hate flying ,its not the height thing as I climb and abseil its the fear of it crashing and I cant think how anything could change that .I just try and read the whole flight to distract my mind from thoughts of crashing

    breatheeasy
    Member

    iolo – I used to be a bit like you, started flying 2-3 times a week and for some reason got it into my head I was 100 times more likely to have a crash than the guy going once a year on his holidays which seemed to freak me out for quite a while.

    I then had an opportunity (pre 9/11 of course) to fly in the cockpit on the jumpseat as the plane was full. Really, if I could, I’d recommend it to anyone (alas, that ain’t gonna happen these days). Much of my fear was just not being in control (I’m a bad car passenger too!) but watching those guys working the plane (and chatting to them) really put much of the fears to bed.

    I hate take-off, once I’m up it’s not a problem, even flying through the wake of another jet (that was fun) and a couple of aborted landings.

    They know what they’re doing. Just remember that.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Tallpaul – Member
    @ Kryton57

    If you park the irrationality, can you find any comfort in the fact you’ve been through all that and still walked safely from every single flight?

    Yup, loads – as I sit here now I’m fine. But as soon as I’m off to an airport the irrationallity kicks in, current dulled by the drugs. Its not helps that I have a highly anxious personality.

    If you happen upon an Irrationality Remover….

    chewkw
    Member

    I used to be scared of flying in my teen …

    Always imaged the plane was splitting apart half way through the journey or the engine drop off …

    plop_pants
    Member

    Not sure about these backup systems. On a Thomson flight to Majorca a couple of years ago we made an emergency landing in Bordeaux. Smoke was emanating from the cockpit and they had to fly in on oxygen. The pilots came out on to the concourse in the airport to explain the situation and said the plane could have lost all power and fallen out of the sky at any second. We nearly got the train home. But we figured we’d had our once in a lifetime near miss and carried on with the journey.

    jools182
    Member

    I’m not sure this thread is helping the op ๐Ÿ™‚

    jambourgie
    Member

    I’m scared of flying too. Though I think it’s to to with loss of control and claustrophobia. I sometimes joke that I’d be quite happy sat on the wing, or even sat in the cockpit. I don’t actually mind taking off and landing, it’s just the whole check-in thing and being stuck in a sealed tube packed with people at 30,000 ft with no way out.
    I’m the same with the tube/buses etc, though one can always get off. This simple fact seems to make it go fine. Although I have had a meltdown on a rammed commuter train that just stopped for about an hour with no explanation.
    Strangely, I love fairground rides and roller-coasters.

    chewkw
    Member

    jools182 – Member

    I’m not sure this thread is helping the op

    ๐Ÿ˜†

    As a kid I was on Fokker Friendship and I was looked at the propellers on both sides of the plane to make sure they did not fall off … not really sure what I would do if the propellers came off.

    Then while landing I used to make sure the landing gears were down properly …

    When the plane hit air pocket I thought the plane was going down …

    Then I would image what crash victims would look like …

    All the above throughout my flight.

    Before going to fly my friend used to show me movies of plane crashing to “help” me get out of it … good friends them … ๐Ÿ™„

    Nowadays, I tend to notice pilot leveling the plane (cut power) just after they gain altitude / take off and even my father (very experience aircraft engineer) noticed that. He thought that was bad practice.

    Try to take note after the plane take off and you will see them leveling the plane rather quickly to safe fuel whatever. I notice BA does not do that which is good but other airlines have the tendency to do so. Watch out …

    mrchrispy
    Member

    I dont have a fear of flying….im fine with that, its the crashing part I worry about!

    agent007
    Member

    Nowadays, I tend to notice pilot leveling the plane (cut power) just after they gain altitude / take off and even my father (very experience aircraft engineer) noticed that. He thought that was bad practice.

    Try to take note after the plane take off and you will see them leveling the plane rather quickly to safe fuel whatever. I notice BA does not do that which is good but other airlines have the tendency to do so. Watch out …

    Nothing to do with safety – usually done around 1000 to 1500 feet above ground level to comply with noise abatement procedures of some particular airports located around populated city area.

    So many myths that need busting! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a look here for some more useful info:

    Ask The Captian

    Mikeypies
    Member

    The pilots came out on to the concourse in the airport to explain the situation and said the plane could have lost all power and fallen out of the sky at any second

    realy ? so what was so wrong that it would lose all power and or drop out of the sky.

    Nowadays, I tend to notice pilot leveling the plane (cut power) just after they gain altitude / take off and even my father (very experience aircraft engineer) noticed that. He thought that was bad practice.

    Are you sure about that ? what area is your fathers experience in and on on what aircraft types?.

    Once an aircraft has reached the required altitude and speed the engines will be throttled back. Just after take off (depending on each airport) the autopilot is engaged which with the FMS(flight management system)controls how and to where the aircraft is flying not the pilots. They monitor where they are fuel burn etc.

    And as for Compositepros comments about cocks up being hidden and how he wouldnt fly with certain engines if any of it is fact he should go and speak to the CAA .

    Flying is safe compared to riding your bike to work

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