Fear of Flying
Sunday, 05 July 2009 04:49
Hi Captain Lim,
After reading your website for the last few times, I felt much better every time before I fly and it was slowly helping me to have less fear about flying. But after the Air France crash, I have been feeling very scared to fly again. I have been thinking how I can not feel conscious when I fly (so that I won't need to face the fear of flying) because of the Air France incident; but not knowing the reason for the crash is really very scary.
I used to feel very scared at least a month before flying but now I feel very scared already although there are still so many months more before flying. This scary feeling has started since the Air France incident. Plus today, knowing about the Qantas incident which went through severe turbulence and several passengers were hurt. I read the news that some of the passengers in the flight were very scared and the plane had a sudden drop in altitude.
May I know whether this kind of severe turbulence always happen and have you ever encountered this kind of severe turbulence before? How do pilots take care of this kind of turbulence in the cockpit?
It looked to us passengers that it's not easy to control but do pilots feel the same or everything is actually under controlled by the pilot during severe turbulence? I read about the session on air turbulence in your website and understand a lot too. Reading your website helps me to build up my courage to fly.
I really hope you can answer these questions of mine as I did not read anywhere whether the plane is under well controlled by pilots during severe turbulence.
Captain Lim, I would appreciate if you could say something to make me feel better to fly again?
Please, please, please help as I am so afraid that sometimes I couldn't sleep after thinking so much about flying.
Thank you very much.
Wishing you safe flying all the time.
I have received so many similar questions like yours and I only hope that I have a magic wand to wish all your fears away! Obviously it appears that my answers to many such questions have not been very effective to the “very fearful flyers”.
Just remember that everything we do in life have some risks involved. Walking across the street, driving to the supermarket, taking a shower at home and the list goes on…
I have repeated this many times that flying is one of the safest mode of transport despite the news about air crashes now and then (yes, many would still disagree!)
Do you know that your drive to the airport has a greater risk of you being involved in an accident than your next flight to any of your holiday destinations? Very few people are aware of this. Yes, you even have a better chance of winning a state lottery than being involved in an air accident!
I quote what I have written in one magazine by risk communication consultant Peter Sandman. He says, “The risks that scare people and the risks that kill people are very different. When hazard is high and outrage is low (car accidents), people under react. And when hazard is low and outrage is high (air crashes), they overreact.”
If all these facts do not help, you have the choice of not flying at all. But I believe the advantages of this mode of travel outweigh the disadvantages of not travelling at all.
Poor Michael Jackson (May he RIP) was a fearful flyer before. And so you are not alone who belongs to this group!
The answers on turbulence have all been covered in my site before.
I wish you a safe flight always!