HI again I just wondered, looking at your book Captain Keith, you talk about the plane's ability to glide for 30 mins, which is really reassuring. Can I ask whether this is still applicable though du…

HI again

I just wondered, looking at your book Captain Keith, you talk about the plane's ability to glide for 30 mins, which is really reassuring. Can I ask whether this is still applicable though during take off or landing? On my last landing it felt as though the nose was dipping down for a second until the pilot booted up the power upon descent.

Also you talk in your dvd about the planes' abilities nowadays to fly themselves' (bigger planes etc) - but this makes me slightly nervous because it relies upon the plane rather than the pilot , and if something goes wrong the pilot being able to over-ride the planes electronic system and understanding what/where the problem is. Airbus apparently use a 'fly by wire' system which apparently some pilots are nervous about as it is so electronic and automated, can you reassure me that airbus is as safe as boeing? The last few crashes which have happened to planes of European/American countries (with safer records on the whole) tend to have been airbus - i remember one where a pilot used the rudder on take off and it snapped off as it wasn't intended to be used on take off, and the Air France crash was also an airbus. I have flown airbus before and found them to feel lighter than a boeing and actually preferred the flying experience - but i feel now they're more dangerous personally maybe too electronic and not as sturdy, do you have opinion on this?

Sorry to ask, i know i've done my flights now which were really smooth and enjoyable - but these thoughts are hanging over my head and I know i'll have to fly again probably fairly soon

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be a child again, and just enjoy the experience and the thrill and the views, without the possibility entering your head that something (however incredibly slim the chance) may happen.


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Comment by suzi on February 23, 2010 at 2:08pm
Thank you Captain Keith. Each answer you give me helps me to feel more relaxed, confident and I feel will enable me to to enjoy my next flight all the more and feel less scared. I will now ban myself from reading any media stories.
Comment by Captain Keith on February 23, 2010 at 1:19pm
Sorry forgot to mention the gliding question. A plane will 'glide' a certain distance according to it's height. The higher it is, the longer it will be in the air so the further it will glide. It will descend about one thousand feet every minute and will fly about 5 miles each minute....ish. Very rough figures.

So althought he plane will glide after it gets airborne it won't glide very far. But it won't just fall out of the sky... any more than a car will just career off the road if it runs out of petrol.

Comment by Captain Keith on February 23, 2010 at 1:09pm
Hi Suzi

I spend my life trying to behave like a child! I always try to stay in touch with the magic of life and more recently work hard at enjoying every experience and thrill.

But that doesn't stop me being serious and sensible...which is my link to what you have asked. There really is a lot of nonsense spoken about fly by wire. Almost every aircraft flying is 'fly by wire'...it just depends how you define what the 'wire ' is doing. In a modern motor car the steering wheel isn't connected to the wheels in the same way that it was before power steering but you don't hear about the dangers of power steering or automatic gearboxes.

I'm not mocking anyone's description of planes but without the 'fear' element there'd be no story. And of course pilots come in all shapes and sizes and some like to have an opinion! We're all individuals...but if there were a strong case for banning airbus fly by wire then the plane wouldn't have got off the ground in the first place. Manufacturers would need to part of an enormous conspiracy to sell and airplane that was likely to crash.

Sure, what's wrong with letting the autopilot fly the plane? You seem to imagine, quite undestandably that there's some sort of mystery in flying a plane. It's easy to fly a plane...what evidence is there that it's difficult? Who ever said that I wonder?

Sorry to say that your feeling that the Airbus is lighter and flies more smoothly is totally subjective...apart from the sound there's almost no way that you could tell the difference ...it's all the do with Newtons three laws of motion and that's that !

You've completed your flights successfully so what I suggest is you just let sleeping dogs lie and don't bother with all these troublesome thoughts.

I am horribly down to earth I know but that's how I can help you more. You know that I say it as it is, without any intention to offend, talk down to or patronise anyone. I'm here to help you. I hope that I do



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