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  • afraid

    i am so scared of flying, especially of turbulence...can anyone give me some sort of information that will assure me im safe?!? :oops: ....also, wat are "air pockets" are they dangerous?

  • #2
    There are no such things as air pockets they just do not exist!

    Turbulence is not dangerous to you or the plane as long as you have your seat belt fastened. Injuries are usually due to Clear air turbulence ( unexpected) when people are walking around the cabin.

    Turbulence can feel uncomfortable but it is not a problem for the plane. Sit just forward of the wing as this is said to be the most stable part of the plane.

    Practice driving on a bumpy road, this is what turbulence usually feels like.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sbjp15 View Post
      i am so scared of flying, especially of turbulence...can anyone give me some sort of information that will assure me im safe?!? :oops: ....also, wat are "air pockets" are they dangerous?
      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! :-)

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      • #4
        I will echo what the above poster said.

        Fear of flying is a kind of subjective irrationality. It is safer than the drive to the airport. It is safer than crossing at a crosswalk. Turbulence is not dangerous. People fear it because it is mystified...they don't know how it works and they are not in control. It is also precarious...a hard reality of physical condition which is something that upsets people at an instinctive level..by that I mean when you are in the air flying it is absolute reality, there is no escape and you have to land. You cannot rationalize your way out and you have to endure the whole thing. You can pull a car over. You can walk out of an argument with a person on the ground. You can change the channel while watching tv. When flying, you are forced to accept the reality, and that alone upsets people.

        Flying runs counter to instinct. We were simply not designed for it, and that causes anxiety.

        It is important then, not to let your thought process loop into a growing panic. Relaxation is the key. Catch yourself being negative or irrational. Avoid superstition and logical fallacy (eg, If it's bumpy on take off, the flight is on the "wrong foot"...if you don't touch the door fuselage on the way in, the plane will crash....there was a crash last week and things happen in 3's...). Remember that you cannot influence events by praying, counting your steps, tapping your fingers, or lighting a candle.

        The only controlable is YOU, so do your relaxation and see about anti-anxiety meds. Catch yourself falling into negative thought processes about every sound you hear and every bump you feel.

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        • #5
          Flying is extremely dangerous. Don't kid yourself. Look at the incident with Southwest Airlines last week. Piece of the plane ripped off, cabin pressure lost. Those people are lucky to be alive.

          So, as I predicted, the Air France/Airbus/EU didn't find the black boxes from AF 447. They don't want to! They don't want the world to know what really happened.

          So in recent months, you go Air France, Continental, and US Airways crashes. I'm staying on AMTRAK.

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          • #6
            LLL, please stop riling up site visitors. There have been 3 mass transit accidents recently, or do you conveniently leave that information out? Flying is very safe.

            http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MN3C18RJGG.DTL

            The collision was the latest in a spate of mass transit accidents around the country. Last month, a Metro commuter train slammed into the rear of another subway train near Washington, D.C., killing nine people and injuring scores of others. In May, 49 people were injured when one Boston trolley car crashed into another.
            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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            • #7
              Yep, it couldn't possibly be because it was in a deep ocean, could it?

              Originally posted by LLL View Post
              So, as I predicted, the Air France/Airbus/EU didn't find the black boxes from AF 447. They don't want to! They don't want the world to know what really happened.
              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


              • #8
                Mass transit? Ok. All cases where automation failed. Still does not make metal tubing safe.

                If we can put a man on the moon, we can find an airplane on the ocean floor.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LLL View Post
                  Flying is extremely dangerous. Don't kid yourself. Look at the incident with Southwest Airlines last week. Piece of the plane ripped off, cabin pressure lost. Those people are lucky to be alive.

                  So, as I predicted, the Air France/Airbus/EU didn't find the black boxes from AF 447. They don't want to! They don't want the world to know what really happened.

                  So in recent months, you go Air France, Continental, and US Airways crashes. I'm staying on AMTRAK.
                  Sounds like you are attempting to rationalize your fears as if they were rational...which they are not.

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                  • #10
                    My rationale for not flying is totally rational.

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                    • #11
                      I find it interesting that LLL has given up flying but has so much interest in this website.

                      In my opinion, this website is for people who fly or who would eventually like to fly. We are all here to lessen our anxiety and try to enjoy travel, and I do not understand why it is so important to LLL to convince people otherwise.

                      I am saddened and concerned by all the flying accidents/incidents of 2009; yet I am not here to convince myself to never fly again....I try to think of all those road warriors who fly often and have never miraculously crashed...I try to push my negative thoughts away because I am unwilling to give up flying.

                      Anyway, I suppose everyone has a right to air their thoughts, but I don't get why someone who doesn't fly reads the discussion forum regularly and has something to say on every thread.

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                      • #12
                        Who cares if I don't fly? This site is about turbulence, not just about flying. As long as the logo shows an airplane spiraling out of control, I don't see why we can't talk about people's fear of flying as well.

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