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  • Hate flying, Love this site

    As my trip on Wednesday from Newark to Miami approaches, I find myself getting the usual sinking stomach. I've cancelled the past three trips I was supposed to go on to various places because I really can't handle the idea of getting caught in a prolonged period of turbulence. Is this weird? I know I used to be able to fly without any problem and now I'm terrified of the "what if?" Also, I just heard the weather report and Wednesday is supposed to be really windy here in NYC. Ugh. I'll certainly check in for a forecast the closer I get to departure, but I'd love some reassurance before then so I don't worry myself to death for the next three days.

    Thanks for such a great site. So well organized and informative. I've learned so much about the process of flying already. Really appreciate it!

  • #2
    I'm glad you like the site. I'll be more than happy to do a forecast for you a little bit closer to the date.

    Now, high winds on the ground doesn't necessarily mean that the whole flight will be bad. Certainly, it will be bumpy on takeoff and/or landing, but depending on the length of the flight, it's only a small part of it. Indeed, if winds are calm on the ground, it doesn't mean it will be a nice flight (we had good examples of that last week). We'll take a look at your forecast soon.

    Try not to be too nervous. Oftentimes the weather changes, which is one of the many reasons that a forecast can't be done too far in advance, things change way too often. Also, you get to go to Florida, which sounds nice and warm. That's something to look forward to.

    In the meantime, I'd avise you to try and have your seat as close to the front as possible, as the effects are often worse for the people in the back (the tail whips around).
    TURBULENCE FORECAST IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY OF THE INFORMATION FOUND HERE. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    Please read our forum rules and regulations before posting. By posting or continuing to browse, you agree to these terms.
    Donations are used to fund new features and to offset costs.

    Download our app: Turbulence Forecast for iOS
    Read the best book on fear of flying (e-book or paperback): Soar: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying

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    • #3
      Hi,

      I also hate turbulence.

      One thing that helps me more than any other is to place a glass of water on the table in front of me and watch how little the water moves.

      If I was to do the same in my car and go over just a couple of bumps the water would be all over the car.

      Remember Turbulence is a comfort issue not a safety issue.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello..
        My fear of flying is based on the fear of possibly encountering turbulence. I hate the idea of possibly flying through moderate to extreme turbulence to the point that I have cancelled three trips to Hawaii. Those change fees get expensive so I'm trying to overcome that particular fear. My fear sounds alot like your fear...I'm glad I'm not alone. I don't think it's weird. I use to enjoy flying until I flew through a storm on an MD-80 and encountered severe turbulence. My stomach sinks justing looking at an MD-80.
        Sally

        Comment


        • #5
          Sally

          I'm sure your experience was not enjoyable, but you did make it out ok. Flying is very safe, even when it's unpleasant. Those DC-9 and MD-80 series craft are some of the most durable airplanes in the sky.
          TURBULENCE FORECAST IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY OF THE INFORMATION FOUND HERE. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

          Please read our forum rules and regulations before posting. By posting or continuing to browse, you agree to these terms.
          Donations are used to fund new features and to offset costs.

          Download our app: Turbulence Forecast for iOS
          Read the best book on fear of flying (e-book or paperback): Soar: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying

          Comment


          • #6
            tb neg
            Thank you for the information on the MD-80s. That's good to hear about the durability of the MD-80. I will be flying on one again next week from Portland Oregon to San Diego. Looking forward to it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi from Spain. I have just registered. I love the page too, although I am not sure if it will do any good to my fear of flying. If the weather is fine, itīs great, if not it could be terrible for mental imaginery. I mean, scenes of storms, lightening, winds, storms, even before the flight.

              I didnīt normally were a fearfull flyier. Living in the northwest of Spain, on the Atlantic Coast, means rough landings in winter. But I got really concerned last summer when I had a lightening strike as I was landing in Venice. Nothing dramatic, but I still have the "bang" noise on the left wing, the sudden shakking and the light iluminating the cabin.

              Now I track the weather and if thereīs a sign of storm I could even cancel. As a cruise critic, have to fiy frecuently (next thuesday from SCQ-BCN-HEL) and I got really bad times, every time I see my plane getting into black clouds on approach. Close the window, and grasp the seat rest, and close my eyes.

              The page is great, but I would love it could be more specific about Europe my local airport SCQ. For all fearful flyers, I remember something told to me by a pilot.

              "Donīt track the weather, weīll do it for you. Sit back and relax everything will be under control". It helps me sometimes.

              Comment


              • #8
                We have great resources for European flights, have you seen this page?

                http://www.turbulenceforecast.com/europe.php

                Originally posted by keltic View Post
                The page is great, but I would love it could be more specific about Europe my local airport SCQ. For all fearful flyers, I remember something told to me by a pilot.
                TURBULENCE FORECAST IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY OF THE INFORMATION FOUND HERE. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

                Please read our forum rules and regulations before posting. By posting or continuing to browse, you agree to these terms.
                Donations are used to fund new features and to offset costs.

                Download our app: Turbulence Forecast for iOS
                Read the best book on fear of flying (e-book or paperback): Soar: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying

                Comment


                • #9
                  [QUOTE=rollercoastersky;498] Is this weird? I know I used to be able to fly without any problem and now I'm terrified of the "what if?" Also, I just heard the weather report and Wednesday is supposed to be really windy here in NYC. Ugh. QUOTE]

                  It is not that weird. About 30% of people are afraid to fly, so when you get in that airplane look around and you can be sure that 1/3 of those people are also very, very nervous.

                  Instead of thinking "What If" try to think "What Is". Get informed, read about airplane safety, the noises that you will hear during flight, get familiar with the process and it will seem less scary.

                  Don't worry about the "windy" forecast. That doesn't necessarily mean the flight will be bumpy.

                  You will be fine.

                  P4P

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rollercoastersky View Post
                    As my trip on Wednesday from Newark to Miami approaches, I find myself getting the usual sinking stomach. I've cancelled the past three trips I was supposed to go on to various places because I really can't handle the idea of getting caught in a prolonged period of turbulence. Is this weird? I know I used to be able to fly without any problem and now I'm terrified of the "what if?" Also, I just heard the weather report and Wednesday is supposed to be really windy here in NYC. Ugh. I'll certainly check in for a forecast the closer I get to departure, but I'd love some reassurance before then so I don't worry myself to death for the next three days.

                    Thanks for such a great site. So well organized and informative. I've learned so much about the process of flying already. Really appreciate it!
                    Sorry for all the reposts of my message-- I just wanted to be sure that each person who has expressed some need for help would get a chance to see a notification for a reply to their original post, and hopefully I can bring some help with my personal story.

                    I was once a very fearful flyer. Not anymore though, and it's a liberating feeling to be able to fly and not only enjoy it, but to not even fear anything about it. I admire your courage to face flying again, and hope I can offer a little support.

                    There was once a time that I couldn't even think of airplanes without getting a little dizzy. This was before 2001, when it was more possible to have chats with pilots on the ground before taking off. I was amazed by their passion for flying, and their cool precision with statistics. I asked them if they ever feared flying, to which they responded "you drove to the airport, correct? That is statistically at least 30 times more dangerous than any flight." I asked them if they would ever be scared in a crashing plane, to which they replied, "we love flying so much that it wouldn't matter."

                    I began to learn more about what makes most people fear flying most. Turbulence is one of them, because it feels so unexpected. What we don't realize is that most turbulence is simply a motion of the plane passing through differential levels of wind patterns, resulting in a motion of only one to two inches in any direction-- that's surprising since it often feels like more. Turbulence is not dangerous to a plane-- weather planes fly directly into hurricanes all the time.

                    Often being on a plane feels less safe than driving, for the lack of the sense that we are in control. Don't forget though, that the pilots' lives are on the line too. They are highly trained and many started out as Air Force pilots.

                    Keep in mind that in the United States, every day about 34,000 scheduled commercial flights make fly between destinations without incident. At any given moment, there are several thousand airliners in the air. They are constantly in communication with each other and with the ground to devise the smoothest flying routes for passengers. All things considered though, pilots actually *look forward* to turbulence because it makes the monotony of their jobs more interesting. They often compare it to driving a truck. For every hour that a plane is in the air, it's on the ground for three, being serviced.

                    There are many doctors in our country, very good and caring ones, who specialize in helping people overcome their fear of flying. The one I saw is in the Boston area (I could recommend her if you wish). I thought myself to be a horrible, off-the-charts case, and totally incurable. In fact she told me that she saw far, far worse cases, and that she was 100% successful with all of them. Within two months, I was flying again without a dash of fear! ;-) She used a combination of techniques. First was information about flying. Secondly I was introduced to a variety of cognitive-behavioral self-analyses which were completely new to my thought processes.

                    One example is to ask yourself in real time "on a scale of one to ten, where is my anxiety level right now?" You start to see yourself outside of yourself, ie rationally instead of emotionally. It's fascinating to watch the number go up and down, and then overall, things sometimes tend to settle down.

                    Another technique is desensitization. Sometimes the feeling of panic itself is a snowball effect. The inability to breathe well scares us. So, I practiced breathing through a straw to induce that scary feeling. Eventually, I no longer feared it.

                    Fearful thoughts tend to be in terms of black and white. They often catastrophize (it's a word now :-) themselves. When you feel yourself thinking these thoughts, keep a log of them, and try to ask yourself if they are founded.

                    You are on the right track! Watch planes, think about them, learn about them, develop a passion for them, talk about them. They are marvelous, human creations! Look around and see all the die-hard airplane enthusiasts!

                    I now look forward so much to my next flight that I cannot wait to step onto my next flight. Flying is a mind-clearing, transcendental experience which gives me a feeling of elation that I do not get elsewhere.

                    I might add too, that paradoxically overcame my fear of flying in conjunction with an in-depth study of air crash investigations and the heroic behavior of pilots in the face of adversity. I began to realize in fact what an intensely regulated industry the aviation industry is. When making your way to your successful recovery (and yes, you will get there!) don't try to tire your mind by obsessing over which airline or airplane is your better way to go. Generally speaking, every flight is as safe or "dangerous" as the next. For example, just because one Air France jet crashed, doesn't make the next Air France jet suddenly more likely to crash.

                    I hope that I might have helped you in some ways, and wish I could recommend some books to you that have helped me, if you or others are interested.

                    In the end, it was not statistics which calmed my mind. It was the support of caring human beings who went through the same thing, and practice learning how my thoughts work. Practice deep relaxation techniques-- free podcasts such as at meditationoasis.com were of great value to me. I eventually learned to recognize one very interesting thing: an anxious mind has a nearly impossible time existing in a completely relaxed body. Continue to focus your thoughts on why you are traveling, and your destination, and the people you will enjoy meeting at the other end.

                    If I was able to overcome a fear of flying completely, I am convinced anybody can. You can do it! :-)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just remember that turbulence is not a serious condition and doesn't mean much for the flight profile. It's not dangerous. It may be uncomfortable, but it does not mean the aircraft is out of control...sensations are mangnified in the aircraft...the aircraft might not even deviate from it's flight path more than 20 ft in the worst cases. Just keep in mind that turbulence feels worse than it is and remind yourself over and over. This may be a poor analogy, but it's like throwing up. It sucks, you feel absolutely awful..but from a medical standpoint it is not a serious condition and is not particulary dangerous. Its something that feels worse than it really is.

                      For anxiety, I suggest you go to your doctor and get some benzos like Xanax or Valium. They work, and Xanax in particular is short-duration, a few hours. ..when you arrive you will not be a zombie.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I take 1/2 an Ativan, and I do not feel zombie like at all. It just helps me be able to use other relaxation techniques like breathing deeply and saying to myself "I am safe," on my outbreath. I also try to relax all parts of my body and put my hands in my lap instead of gripping armrests.

                        I am really trying to make my peace with this phobia....I really do want to be able to travel without so much anxiety.

                        I seem to be getting more fearful with all the flight "incidents" of 2009. Turbulence reminds me that life is fragile, and I guess that is what really bothers me. The SOAR website blog talked about the fact that the fear of flying is due to thinking that the particular flight one is on is going to be "the one." Even though statistically flying is relatively safe, I keep focusing on how horrible it would be to be on "the one" plane that does crash.

                        Somehow I go through my life not worrying about being "the one" to get breast cancer or to die in a car crash or to break my leg skiing.... When I think about my fear in these terms, I know I am being a bit irrational in fearing flying and turbulence, and then I actually feel better in a twisted way because I know that if my fear is irrational, I can try to change my thinking.

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                        • #13
                          I also take medication, Xanax. It has helped. However, over the last 6 months, I have had to cancel two trips. I have gotten so worried that I have worried myself sick before the flight. I can't sleep and without the sleep I eventually end up getting a severe enough cold that I can't go. The last time my cold was gone within 45 minutes of my decision of cancelling.

                          The anticipatory anxiety has started to become my big problem. Xanax, unfortunately is (as I understand it) more for short duration and could become very addictive if used for longer term.

                          I wish there was a medication one could take for a few weeks before the flight.

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                          • #14
                            If you want to stay herbal, I used to take Gotu Kola, or Valerian root. Try them before you fly to figure out how much you need, but they actually have helped me quite a bit in the past.

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