As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more irrationally fearful and anxious about getting onto a airplane. I used to be able to shrug off bumpy flights or calmly read my newspaper when the plane ascended into the sky. Now? More often than not, turbulence and takeoff requires me to grip my seat tightly, close my eyes and try to slow down my breathing until we’re 39,000 feet.
Not sure why. I’ve never had any in-flight experiences that have traumatized me to this point. And 2014 was the year that I flew the most which you think that the more practice would smooth things over instead of making them worst.
It’s not that I don’t know that flying is safer than driving a car. No matter how much data and facts that’s out there about airline safety, it somehow doesn’t calm all my nerves.
I still get on the plane, but it doesn’t seem as if my fear is going away or getting better.
Facts are one thing and clearly they don’t help me too much, but I just came across a Men’s Health article where actual pilots explained when to actually be concerned during a flight.
Common Problems on Flights:
1. Turbulence and Quick ‘Drops’
2. Engines Cutting Out
3. Smoke in the Cabin
4. Engine on Fire
5. Oxygen Masks Deploying
You’ll excuse me if I still don’t freak out a little bit when there’s smoke in the cabin and/or the engines on fire, but it’s nice to know that the death isn’t certain in those cases. My nerves aren’t hardened with steel, but knowing that turbulence, quick drops, and a oxygen masks deploying aren’t a sign of an impending disaster that my brain makes them out to be. I found that my fear of flying is around control and ignorance, so the more I was able to educate myself with facts and data that seemingly gave me a little more understanding (e.g. “control”) over flying has proven to help bit by bit.
So if you are scared of flying because of control issues, you might want to read some of these articles to settle your stomach and brain:
- How Safe is a Commercial Flight? (Anxieties.com)
- 33 FACTS that Make Flying Ultra-Safe (Go Getter, Jet Setter)
- Pilots Explain When to Actually Worry During a Flight (Men’s Health)