5 thoughts on “Fear Of Flying

  1. I struggle to get my wife to fly with me. It means the world to me to have her by my side and she knows it because I tell her all the time. When I am able to get her to go with me, she grins from ear to ear as soon as we’re accelerating down the runway and lift off, just like me.

    Her biggest objections are primarily cost (I rent from an US Air Force Aero Club), then the fear of turbulence. We both experienced severe turbulence when flying overseas and she’s scared of something like that occurring again. Lastly, she constantly sees reports of small plane crashes where entire families are wiped out.

    I address the turbulence by pointing out I don’t want to fly in rough air either, and do everything possible to not fly in it, but that we will most likely encounter something, but nothing severe. Still a lot of trepidation on her part, even though we’ve flown several time together with nary a bump.

    For the cost objection, I explain, and have shown how much more expensive it would be to own and airplane similar to what I fly, or rent from other clubs (no put down intended for other clubs! you do what you can). Still, a raised eyebrow and frown.

    Lastly for the plane crashes, I point out that the vast majority (in fact all that I can recall) are due to pilot error, and the best way for me to not have this failure while flying, “is to have you along, hon!”. Sometimes that works, but not always.

    So if anyone has some more suggestions, I’m all eyes and ears.

  2. Very well written and to the point.
    I had several great laughs alone the way, you are naturally funny like General Yeager !!!!
    Taking into account another persons fears and their origins is a very kind consideration. I found out over the years of teaching flying that most people leave their fears on the ground, especially when you give them a task. Asking my students and or passengers to look for traffic, hand me the chart or helping me find navigation landmarks makes them feel important crew members. Wow, he/she trusts me, I can be like her/him, calm and composed….
    Handing the flight controls to a beginner, after thorough pre- flight briefing and in flight demonstration/ familiarization can capture a future pilots imagination…am I really flying without help ? they wonder, as you pretend not to notice their frequent glances towards your side of the yoke….
    Asking them to climb and descend very smoothly by reference to the horizon, then a shallow bank either side is the perfect way for them to attract other clients, they will tell all their friends and family : I flew the airplane all by myself !!!!
    That’s soooo ,great !!!!
    Thanks Patty !!!!

  3. The destination is all important, my wife doesn’t want to fly just to fly. We did short trips initially and then moved on to longer trips even making it to the Bahamas. Her fear isn’t rational, she doesn’t mind take offs and landing or flying over water. She is fine when thunderstorms are in view. The thing I have to watch is turbulence, especially in clean air and in mountainous areas.

    My suggestion, keep it simple and don’t put your passengers in uncomfortable situations early. Later, when you know their triggers be sure to avoid them. Finally, remember you can be the source of the problem, if you don’t make flying fun for them or display competence your passengers will pick up on that.

  4. Fear of flying because of crash publicly?
    Well I say we should ban church buses. Those things are dangerous! People are ALWAYS getting killed in those things! Never get in one or let anyone you care about get in one either.

  5. If the truth be told, I generally do not like to fly as a passenger with most other pilots in command, unless I am right seat instructor, or the pilot is really good and flies like I do — displays Zen and the Art of Flying — is one with the plane.

    And the reason, I think, is that as a passenger I am not in control when pilots make “cross-country” traffic patterns for the airport, comes in for a landing at such a shallow angle that they would never make the airport if the engine failed –they leave on margin for error or happenstance.

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