About Fear of Flying Tips
My Story: I wasn't always afraid to fly. I used to love flying. In fact, my father owns a small plane, a Cessna 172, and I practically grew up in the air. We would fly 400 miles just to see family for lunch and then come back the same day. We took short and long trips for various vacations, even going over the Rocky Mountains. In all of that flying I was never afraid. I had (and still do have) total confidence in my father as a pilot and it gave me the freedom to relax. Small planes still don't bother me (except for turning at steep angles, which I'm told really aren't steep at all).
As a child I flew on commercial flights a lot, too. When I was 10 I flew by myself half way across the country to see a friend. During takeoff the plane had to abort due to an engine problem. I was sitting on the wing and swore I could see flames shooting out the back of the engine, but probably it was normal... I don't know. The experience was certainly interesting, but I was never afraid. I later learned that this aborted takeoff had made the local news. It wasn't until then (weeks after the flight) that the first seeds of fear began to grow. As I got older I watched the new more (instead of cartoons) and would latch onto the media glamorizing some horrible plane crash. Those images were too much to ignore. Now in my 30's I recognize the frailties of the human being. I also admit to being a serious control freak. I really think if I was in the cockpit I wouldn't be bothered a bit. It's all about giving up control that I never really have anyway.
I am a numbers person. Very analytical, very statistical. But I'm also living proof that even Type A people can completely throw logic OUT THE DOOR when they are overcome with fear. I've read all the stats about how safe it is to fly. I've had my father tell me over and over about backup systems, the principals of physics (I even had lots of physics courses in college due to my science major) and why it really is safe. In the beginning that didn't help, my overactive imagination could only imagine horrible things, not good things.
I took it upon myself to learn everything I could about commercial flying (since that is my fearful area). I found some great sites, some amazing information and lots of things that could help other fearful flyers recover from this debilitating fear. I hope someday to be completely "fear free" but even if that's not possible it would be great to fly without terror, without drugs, and without torturing those I fly with. If you're willing to take that next step toward eliminating your fear, browse through this site for some great resources available, the vast majority are completely free!