Dear Keith and forum members,

I remembered a few more "technical" questions I had and decided to post them here.

As I may have mentioned on the other board, my fear of flying started a few years before I took my first flight ever (13 years ago). A Tarom crash (Romanian airline) that killed all 61 passangers onboard happened about 3 minutes after take off. This is how my phobia started, with its peak always at take off. So far, I was able to calm down SOME during the cruise (except the turbulence portions) but now after the 447, I expect serious freaking out during cruising too. The weird thing is that I get much, much better when the plane starts descending for landing. I start seeing the Earth and what's on it, and my mind thinks "hey, we're almost there...nothing can happen now, we're so close to the ground...".
Let alone that it obviously can. I heard that in fact, landing is as "dangerous" as the take off, if not more. My questions would be:

1. If anything, which one presents more problems? Take off or Landing? Intuitively, it seems like the former should.

2. How long does a climb to "level out" normally last? Approximately after how many minutes is the "take off" stage deemed officially over and the cruise (supposedly "safe" stage) begins?

3. How long does a descent normally take?

Thank you so much!

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Dear Chistina

1. If anything, which one presents more problems? Take off or Landing? Intuitively, it seems like the former should.

Neither does...why should it be so?

2. How long does a climb to "level out" normally last?

25-40 minutes depending upon the weight of the plane and AirTraffic Control restictions

2a Approximately after how many minutes is the "take off" stage deemed officially over .

The take off is the part between when the brakes are released with the intention of taking off until the time that the after take off checks are complete. Time very very approximately 4 minutes ...could be 2 could be ten. Take off to me is different from the definition you'd use.

and the cruise (supposedly "safe" stage) begins?

What's this about? supposedly safe indeed!'s all safe.

3. How long does a descent normally take?

We start the descent about 140 miles approx from the destination say we do 5 miles every minute on average =140/5
=28 mins

You'll find great descriptions of all these things in our CD Set

I hope these answers help...if not keep asking.

Captain Keith
As we all know, my gripe is with take-off. From watching the videos on here it seems that the main part of the take-off (the part that bothers me anyway) goes for about a minute or under. I count it from when the wheels leave the ground.
Captain Keith,

Thank you so much again and I apologize for the choice of unrealistic words. That was the reason why I placed "dangerous" in citation quotes. Unfortunately, the mind of an aerophobe focuses on those events that really DID turn out either dangerous or fatal, in a weird attempt to control the risk and reduce it from minuscule to none. And this is where the problem starts to begin with.

I indeed measure the take off from the time the wheels leave the ground to the time the plane levels out. For whatever reason, I feel that if the plane is still climbing, the vulnerable moments are not yet over.

I will order the CD as soon as I get to the States, where the mail delivery will be much less problematic than here.

Thank you again.
Hi Christina

Please don't apologise about anything you write or's all part of the process of change that you have to undergo. Open discussions and frank exchanges of views highlight the places where we need to concentrate on helping each other...because I'm learning too!

Hello Keith,

I know this is not where you want our conversations to head, but I realized that one of the most helpful things for me has been receiving a rational explanation for various past air incidents COUPLED WITH the reassurance that the industry learned from given incident and DID SOMETHING to prevent future occurrences of the same nature.

When I fly and those dark thoughts enter my mind, the "it can't happen to me!" mantra simply doesn't work. However, a more rational explanation along the lines of "it happened one time, but it won't happen again because they did X to prevent Y from happening again the future" - seems to work much better.

That being said, I recently wanted to know what caused the accident that triggered my terrible phobia, namely the Tarom crash from Balotesti, 3 min. after take off. I read something about an engine accidentally remaining in thrust mode while the other slowed down, which brought the plane out of control. For whatever unexplained reason, the crew did not react (in time) to the anomaly or something like that, so the conclusion was mechanical failure due to faulty maintenance + pilot error.

I have two questions:

1. In this case, can I count on the "it won't happen again because industry learned X" mantra?

2. Who does the routine maintenance of the plane before every departure?
Staff hired by the airline or local staff hired by the airport in the country/city of departure?

As this was a Tarom airline departing from Romania, it was clear that Romanian staff did the maintenance for that plane and allowed it to leave with the "thrust" problem.
I do not want to open a can of stereotypical/discriminatory/political/nationalistic worms, but being a Romanian myself, I am aware that my culture is not necessarily known for its penchant to "perfectionism, order and attention to detail". Sadly, in the world of work, it is rather known for sloppiness. After all, one of the members of your site started his fear of flying due to an accident in Bucharest, where an airport person simply forgot a car on the runway and the plane ran into it on take off, aborting the whole thing. Ooops.
Frankly, I was not surprised that, from all airports in the world, this had to happen right in Romania.

My flight from Bucharest to Romania will be with Air France (yey, another "gem" now).
I am just curious to know, who will do the maintenance for that plane we'll be flying on, before departure? AirFrance/French mechanics or Romanian/local staff from the airport?

Thank you so much again!

I'm just a little busy right now but will answer you as soon as I can...probably tomorrow. I don't mind where the conversation goes if it's helping you to deal with your fear!

Thank you so much, Keith!

I was wondering whether you might be able to take some time to address the questions in my June 28th post. If you are too busy, no worries; but just in case you forgot, this was just a gentle reminder. :-)

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