Many people suffer from a fear of flying even though the ultra low frequency of airplane accidents would indicate to us the risk involved in air travel is extremely minimal.

Fear of flying is mainly irrational. It's not the result of looking at statistics, weighing up the pros and cons and coming to a sensible conclusion. Rather, your imagination just takes over.
  • How can a heavy metal tube stay in the air?
  • What holds it up?
  • Are the pilots properly trained?
All those 'What if' fears can be hard to rationalise and your imagination can play back scenes of horrific accidents and worst case scenarios that intensify your fear.

The fear of flying is considered a phobia and goes by the name of Aviophobia, it's an irrational fear that often requires some kind of phobia treatment.

Fear of flying can be mild where the person will fly but is nervous at doing so, to being extreme where the person cant even think of getting on to an aircraft, suffering a panic attack and nausea.

The vast majority of those that have a fear of flying can and do overcome their fear, however it usually takes an active effort on their part, it's not something that will usually just vanish on it's own.

Overcoming Flying Fears

The best way to start to overcome the fear of flying is to educate yourself. It's human nature to fear things that we don't know, it's part of our survival instinct. So educating yourself, gaining knowledge and an understanding goes a long way to conquering those fears.

Take time to learn about how aircraft are subjected to test flights, the stringent servicing that takes place, the numerous safety and backup features built in. Also look at how many hours and the intensity of training for the aircrew. Arm yourself with as much knowledge of airplanes and air travel as possible.

Also take some time to learn about the dynamics of flight, how an aircraft actually flies and what turbulence is.

What is turbulence?

If you are nervous about flying, turbulence might lead you to believe something is wrong with the plane. It can be disturbing if you aren't ready for it or if you don't know what it is.

Air has very similar properties as water except you cant see it.
If you throw a stone into water you will see ripples, small waves in the water, when these waves hit an object floating on the water the object will rise and fall as the wave passes beneath the object. This is in very simple terms similar to turbuence.

Turbulence occurs when an airplane passes through air that has been disturbed. Just as water as currents which can move objects in different directions, air also has currents and if an aircraft passes over these currents the aircraft will be moved. This is a very common occurrence and most of the time you do not feel it happening.

Turbulence will not cause the aircraft to fall out of the sky and the pilot will compensate for turbulence in much the same way as a car driver compensates when they drive over a hilly section of road. The only real danger is probably that of motion sickness. If you get sick on rollercoasters or in the car then you may feel a little motion sickness due to turbulence.

There are many courses and self help websites available to help with your fear of flying:

lots of information and help here
Also have a look at Virgins course HERE

You are not alone:

If you have overcome a fear of flying then why not click the edit button below and add your own tips to this page, hopefully they will help others to conquer their fear.
Page created by Stu on 08-11-2010 10:06.
+ Last editted by Stu on 08-11-2010 10:14. View History

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