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Old 07-25-2008, 07:51 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Also afraid of flying?

Pathetic, I know, especially considering that I have to fly quite a lot. While it's not so bad that I break out in hives and cold sweats, it is bad enough that I feel rather uncomfortable even hours before take-off.

Paradoxically, events like this one ("Boeing 747 plunges 20,000ft after three-metre hole appears in its belly") help me to get over my fear.

My deepest respect to the pilots.
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:55 AM   #2
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I feel much the same, Alex.

But I manage not to fly very often and rationalise that I'm saving on my carbon footprint. Eurostar is much nicer anyway.
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:01 AM   #3
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I tried to fly for the first time last year; but had a claustrophobia related panic attack; and vacated the plane at warp speed.
Then I had to stand around on the runway while my bag was retrieved from the hold .

I went on a one-day Fear of Flying course run by one of our airlines. They took us on a flight at the end of the day, and I've flown happily since.
It worked well for me; planes are incredibly safe - the one on the news this morning got down safely and no-one was hurt .
And most of the news reporting of incidents like this is sensationalist (at least that's the case here in the UK.)
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:42 AM   #4
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As is usual with this type of incident it is misreported.
Quote:
...was said to have plunged a terrifying 20,000 feet with a loss of cabin pressure...
Or as the pilot would say, after a loss of cabin pressure the aircraft was put into a steep controlled dive in order to get to approx 12,000 in the shortest time possible so that any passengers who failed to get their oxygen mask on and had lapsed into unconsciousness had a chance to survive.

14,000 feet is about the highest level at which consciousness can be maintained without the need for additional oxygen or a slow ascent measured in hours if not days.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:00 AM   #5
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@Sparrow: I haven't had the chance to visit a course; but I found the following website *very* useful learning to rationalize the fear:

http://www.askcaptainlim.com/

In particular

http://askcaptainlim.com/content/category/6/22/48/
http://askcaptainlim.com/content/category/6/25/50/
http://askcaptainlim.com/content/category/4/17/35/
http://askcaptainlim.com/content/category/7/39/58/
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:09 AM   #6
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No fear of flying commercial. I was always afraid on my initial takeoff when taking flying instructions. Back to commercial flying - what causes me fear is getting the middle seat between two (American) football linemen.

However I am always uncomfortable being alone in a strange, large city. Small towns and unfamiliar country hold no trepidation for me though.

Fortunately or maybe unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I had a ruptured eardrum (from a simulated emergency dive in an altitude chamber) years ago and my ENT doctor told me to never fly again as the pressure changes normal in commercial airlines could cause a re-rupture. When he put that on his letterhead, I took it to my boss and have never flown since.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post
@Sparrow: I haven't had the chance to visit a course; but I found the following website *very* useful learning to rationalize the fear:

http://www.askcaptainlim.com/
Thanks for that Alexander, I hadn't seen that site before but it looks like a goodie .
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:11 AM   #8
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I got over my fear by getting my pilot's license.

It really helped me to feel more confident about flying generally.
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:41 AM   #9
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I'm not afraid of flying. However, I'm beginning to fear airports because of the hassle and freaky things that go on in them. In fact, we are thinking of taking Amtrak for an autumn trip in order to avoid airports. And a chance to see some pretty autumn scenery.

Never had an in-air problem thus far, but we did just barely get out of the newest Air France terminal at Charles De Gaulle airport not long after it first opened, you know, the day it literally seperated from the rest of the airport and fell to the ground. Things like this seem to happen to us in airports, so frankly, for us at least, being in the plane is lots safer than being in the airport. Well, except the time we were sitting on the tarmac at Cincinnati for hours because the couldn't get the electricity to stay on. Finally, they flew in another plane from Indiana and we switched planes, but nobody's luggage switched. The next day, they finally found all the luggage, still in the cargo hold, in the service hangar where the original plane was being serviced.

It was sort of weird for a whole planeload of people to be standing there at the luggage carosel and nothing came out. Long line at the lost luggage office.

Last edited by DixieGal; 07-25-2008 at 10:43 AM. Reason: It took them hours to decide if it was worth the risk to fly without reliable electricity.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:16 AM   #10
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Never had an in-air problem thus far, but we did just barely get out of the newest Air France terminal at Charles De Gaulle airport not long after it first opened, you know, the day it literally seperated from the rest of the airport and fell to the ground.
I personally like avoiding CDG like the plague. Just find it a nightmare experience. And don't get me started on the Air France flight cancellation policy.

A colleague came from CDG to a UK regional airport, and arrived sans luggage. He wandered up the lost luggage and opened his mouth to ask if there are any problems, but before they could speak the assistant asked if he had just come from CDG. He asked if there were some known problems with CDG. "No, " replied the assistant, "but most people who have lost luggage come from CDG." The ensuing conversation highlighted that CDG seems to use the same baggage handling mechanism as used by the new LHR-T5, combined with a wonderful ability to use a Gaullic shrug when things go wrong.

On a few occasions I've done Paris->Geneva. Much much prefer the train. It might take a little longer, but there is so much more space, its so much more comfortable, you have your luggage with you, you avoid CDG and you don't get presented with something airlines insultingly try to pass off as food (okay; so I travel cattle class).

I recently had a trial glider flight. Absolutely fabulous. I spent most of the time looking around and briefly trying the controls. Strangely, I was enjoying it too much to notice I was flying, if that makes sense. I wonder if anyone who is scared of flying has ever tried gliding. Though the instructor's briefing on the use of the paracute might not have helped....
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:34 AM   #11
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nay problem,
helicopter trip offshore was GREAT fun...
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:37 PM   #12
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Paris CDG is the nastiest airport I know of. Even Heathrow pales into insignificance.
I almost never fly to Paris any more. The Eurostar is comfortable, takes about the same length of time as flying plus airport check-in; you can keep your luggage and keep your nail file in you handbag. You can even knit or crochet (banned on aircraft in Europe. Am I really going to cause any damage with a crochet hook? I don't think so.)
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:43 PM   #13
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I wasn't afraid of flying until I went up in a T38 trainer with a clinically psychotic instructor pilot. No way are planes supposed to do that kind of shibbit.

CPIP: Now this is what we call a split S

Me: Blargh!
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:47 PM   #14
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Am I really going to cause any damage with a crochet hook?


Given the things I've seen taken off people at LHR (*tiny* tube of toothpaste because it wasn't in a clear plasic bag; safety nail clippers) it is probably fairly lethal.

Just saw pictures of the plane. Wow. I'm impressed by how calm the pilots were and how well engineered these planes are -- despite the huge bit that came off, at speed and at height, the plane landed perfectly in one piece and under full control.
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:59 PM   #15
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I have seen the damage a crochet hook can cause first hand. They should also be banned from the bedroom.

I have no fear of flying. I learned sky diving years ago and have made more take offs than landings in a plane. There's a joke in there somewhere I think.

My problem is with the security measures imposed today. More accurately with the implementation of these methods. I understand the need the Government felt to impose them, I just don't like going through them. (Then again I wasn't happy many years ago when they banned smoking on planes. I'm still looking for the "no cheap perfume" section.)

I do remember a trip from NYC to Saudi Arabia back in the early 80's that was so boring (all I had was a Walkman and I had already run through the batteries) that I was tempted to inquire about the nature walk on the wing that they promised over Russia.
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