I was just looking at a couple of great videos (by Rory and Clair) and thought about concerns that members voiced in recent times - e.g. about the volcanic ash cloud and media reports of tragic accidents etc. I must admit I had and have the same concerns. But the thought struck me:  every day across the world, many millions of passengers are taken from point A to point B by bus drivers, train drivers, cab drivers, ships captains and crews, and airline captains and crews - to mention but a few.

 

There's also the millions - dare I say billions of us -  who use our own cars, motorcycles and bicycles for the same purpose. I know I would never give a second thought to using any one of these modes of transport - except for the airplane!!!!  Strange isn't it!! 'cos I regularly drive a motorbike and love being on it. I believe the stats that say flying is statistically the safest mode of transport - by comparison, the road fatalities alone show this.

 

I think the fear of flying comes from some deep seated sense of it being "un-natural" whereas the other modes of transport are viewed as being more natural and commonplace. Maybe I'm gaining some perspective but I know, deep down, that when I take my next flight, this knowledge and perspective isn't really going to make much difference and I'll be alone with my fears and the battle to overcome them.

 

The point made in one video by Capt. Keith is absolutely true - its my fear and I have to learn to deal with it and overcome it. I've been reading a good bit about fear, panic and phobia conditions and hope, one day, to go on the course. If I've learned anything its that these "feelings and thoughts" are simply that - feelings and thoughts and while uncomfortable, they are not physiologically dangerous. ( A caveat here is that there's no underlying serious physical condition/s - for which a fearful flyer may need medical advice in advance of taking a flight.). If there was a "magic bullet" cure I'm sure it would have been found years ago and we'd all be happily swanning around in the wild blue yonder.  Like I said, its was just a thought that struck me and I put these few comments into the "discussion pot" for what they're worth. Frank.

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Good evening

They're worth a lot Frank and thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts.

I try to be as direct, effective and empathetic as possible on this forum and on the site. But you hit the nail on the head when you repeat my words about YOUR fear.
I get annoyed when people advertise on the internet that they can offer a cure ( of almost anything ) in a few minutes or hours or with some simple technique of attitude change or some psycho babble and all the rest of the snake oil sellers.

It's hard work fixing this fear....sometimes it happens with a sentence or a book or on a course...but none of this happens without a lot of effort and heart ache before that moment of realisation.

By the way travelling by car is an amazingly safe way to travel in fact. It's just that planes are even safer.

Best wishes

Keith
Hi Frank,

I too have been thinking along the same lines as you regards the various forms of travel there are and that we don't fear them.

I read a comment recently that said millions of air plane passengers land at there destinations safely every day. However you never see a newspaper headline stating this, and I for one am glad about this! Cause if it did make a headline then it would mean it was an unusual event!

Julie
Hi Julie,
Many thanks for your comments and taking the time to write them. I'm heading to Auckland NZ on the 15th and am apprehensive about the trip. I admit I'm a bit of a magnet when it comes to media news about accidents and I imagine most of us with fear-of-flying are lie that. I think the important thing is putting these things in perspective - like you say - and think about the thousands of flights which happen every day and the millions of passengers who safely take off and and land without the slightest problem. I'm looking forward to being able to update folks on the site about my progress when I arrive in NZ. (Allow a couple of days for me to get over jet-lag etc.!!!). Best wishes and all the very best with your flying in future. Frank

Julie said:
Hi Frank,

I too have been thinking along the same lines as you regards the various forms of travel there are and that we don't fear them.

I read a comment recently that said millions of air plane passengers land at there destinations safely every day. However you never see a newspaper headline stating this, and I for one am glad about this! Cause if it did make a headline then it would mean it was an unusual event!

Julie
Hi Guys

Here's the rule.

No looking at media nonsense. There is never a benefit and there is always, always, always a downside. They perpetuate any misunderstandings you have and create more.

If you live in the UK you'll understand if I say that Holby City is to good medical practice what the media is to aviation then you'll understand my views.

I have never met anyone who has said that they benefit from media information about aviation accidents.

See my views here on the flyingwithoutfear.com website

Captain Keith
you are so right and I can relate. Even though we can intellectually appreciate why flying is safe, when there is the slightest bump, our emotional brain says that we are miles above the planet and nothing is holding us there but air. That part of the brain is simply to powerful for our rational brain to control - over the short term at least.

But training, like training at anything, or un-training, like breaking a bad habit is possible, so that we don't have to have our rational brains fight our emotional brains when it counts. our emotional brains will be trained, just like we did when we stopped smoking, or twirling pieces of paper (I do this and don't even realize it) or other habits.
Yes Yes Yes

It's a fear you learned (learnt) so it's a fear that can be unlearnt. However it's quite important to 'train' yourself to unlearn the fear in the place where you learnt it. In other words...in the air.

This is why it's so important to learn the facts, learn the strategies, breathing and relaxation techniques on the ground so thAt they are second nature to you in the air. Then, when your emotional brain is 'quiet' in the air you can let your rational brain take over.

Keith
Hi Captain Keith,
Many thanks for your comments and for all your work on developing this site and responding to folks like me with patience, understanding and practical advice. The site is of incalculable benefit to nervous flyers in providing the facility to share experiences, hopes and fears with like minded folks. Just writing a few lines about one's own fears and concerns is therapeutic in itself. It breaks the sense of personal isolation with the fear of flying. Reading about and sharing other members stories and having advice from your good self has given me a tremendous confidence boost. I'm off on a long trip to NZ on Tuesday and will post my experiences on the site in due course. I am apprehensive about it but not dwelling on the apprehension. The odd thing is that I've always been something of an airplane enthusiast (an "anorak" in trainspotting parlance!!) and would genuinely love to get to a point where I can enjoy the flying experience. I will go on your course one day and hopefully that will not be too far off in the future. In the mean time keep up the good work and best wishes to everyone on the site. Frank Edwards.

Captain Keith said:
Good evening

They're worth a lot Frank and thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts.

I try to be as direct, effective and empathetic as possible on this forum and on the site. But you hit the nail on the head when you repeat my words about YOUR fear.
I get annoyed when people advertise on the internet that they can offer a cure ( of almost anything ) in a few minutes or hours or with some simple technique of attitude change or some psycho babble and all the rest of the snake oil sellers.

It's hard work fixing this fear....sometimes it happens with a sentence or a book or on a course...but none of this happens without a lot of effort and heart ache before that moment of realisation.

By the way travelling by car is an amazingly safe way to travel in fact. It's just that planes are even safer.

Best wishes

Keith
Frank

I'm glad that you feel the network helps. I don't know if you know but I have a page on the main website that deals with the fears that people mention when they log on to this network. I have a long term plan to try to integrate things on each site...but right now I'm asnwering other things during most of my retirement !

Keith
Thanks Capt. Keith, I'll check out the main web site for that information. Frank.

Captain Keith said:
Frank

I'm glad that you feel the network helps. I don't know if you know but I have a page on the main website that deals with the fears that people mention when they log on to this network. I have a long term plan to try to integrate things on each site...but right now I'm asnwering other things during most of my retirement !

Keith

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