Is It Fear Of Flying Or Fear Of Dying?

Fear Of Flying

So is it fear of flying? No.  Just dying.

For me, it just seems like one of the worst ways to go. If you have a fear of flying, you're not alone.

I am much better now, and I'll tell you what has worked for me and others below.
In fact, there are 2 other ways of dying that makes me cringe.  

Crashing in a plane is still number #1 and the two others, well, doesn't matter how they're ranked.
There are:  Burning up like a campfire marshmallow and.....

Mallows on Fire

drowning, in deep-deep water, clawing at nothing-ness until your eyes bulge out like a Bass out of water, then you die-die. 

My Eyes!

"So, what in the Hell has made us so scared of flying?" 

According to this study, of those afraid of flying:

  • 73% were fearful of mechanical problems during flight
  • 62% were afraid of being on a flight during bad weather
  • 36% were afraid of mechanical problems on the ground
  • 36% were afraid about flying at night
  • 33% feared flying over a body of water

(Source: “Fear of Flying: Impact on the U.S. Air Travel Industry.” Robert D. Dean, Kerry M. Whitaker. Study sponsored by Boeing Commercial Airplane Company.)

Got it, we're a bunch of scared "pansy's". But why? Is it really fear of the unknown?

Read the books, talk to pilots......they say, so you know what's going on, THEN you will calm down.
REALLY? Never worked for me.  All I know is mechanical "stuff" fails and mechanics get tired like everyone else--mistakes happen and if they do, this pressurized metal tube is going down.

Yeah Yeah, they can glide, maybe even 20 to 30 minutes, then where ya gonna land? Hopefully not in someones back yard....

Throwing a Model Airplane

Getting to know a pilot and getting acquainted with a plane didn't work for me.

We had a good friend, a pilot, take me up in a small plane a few years ago.
A Small- two seater with some cargo space in back.
I didn't want to go, but it was my husband's business party and the pressure was on.
I only had one drink, this was not fair. 

Smiling and Cocksure of himself, he gave me the run down on the instrument panel, explained the safety checks and gave me the "Dynamics of Flight" lecture- as we went Up Up and Away...
I was numb, until we hit our first air pocket. Was this suppose to make me stronger? fearless? 

Smaller metal tubes flying into BIG turbulent air pockets are worse! I was losing it.

Come On, That Can't Be Normal!

As he continued to talk, I continued to count backward from 1000, hoping we would be on the ground by the time I reached 444.
Also, don't tell me its the safest way to travel OR give me the percentages of death by car; bike; guns and especially drowning, it doesn't matter. 

All I know at this point is, NOW I am afraid of flying in SMALL planes too!

So What's It Going To Take?

Shocked Staring Dog

Here are some ways that have helped others (including me) get through a flight.

  •  DRINK or Medicate?  Okay, I am not going to advocate getting sloshed before or during a flight, I'm just say-in, it helps some people- not me.  I may have a drink, but its not worth the amount of money I would have to spend to truly calm me down. Personally, I don't want to take a med, but I have friends that take low mg's of Diazepam or Xanax and it works for them. Their advice is take it at least an hour ahead of the flight.  
  •  Watch A Movie or Listen to Tunes. This has helped me get my mind off the strange mechanical noises throughout the flight AND not look at my watch so often. 
  •  Get A Window Seat, Or NOT?  Here's where it's divided for a lot of people. For me, it was always a window seat, especially over the wing. I felt better being able to watch the wing/engine area, and if it wasn't on fire- GOOD, I felt a bit better.  For many people, an aisle seat is better, less restricting, better for a quick escape! 
  •  FIND OUT what makes this flying capsule stay up; go down and NOT break in half when hitting turbulence. Knowing how it flies has helped so many people and there are even classes related to learning everything you need to know about the aero-plane. Hasn't helped me, but it might help you! In fact, people swear by this book: "CockPit Confidential" . Everything you need to know about air travel written by a airline pilot. 
  •  Laugh, Giggle, Smile, Breathe Deep or Pray. Yup, laughing quietly has worked- for me. I'm not much into prayer but giggling and smiling, I'm into that, so I laugh at movies, people's conversations, (while I'm looking into a book), memories, you get it. Yeah, I get looks, but its better than sobbing!
  •  Make A Nest And Sleep. If you fly often, you've probably seen the nest builders. Might as well get comfy. They have their PJ's (or are those lounge pants?), their pillow from home (YUK!), a blanket and headphones.  Go for it!  If it takes you away from the anxiety, do it! 

So, in conclusion, everyone really has to find what works for them. It's personal.

For me, there are two other changes that have eased my anxiety.

First,  I finally feel everyone (family) around me is, or will be taken care of. I'm sure you know the feeling.
 "What would mom do?", "My children?" "My Pets?" "Who will my husband hook up with?"--Okay, maybe I'll just forget about that one.
There are plans in place now, and it's a good feeling.

Second,  As I mentioned above, I'm not particular religious, however at some point I decided that God (or nature) has a plan for my demise, in other words, the manner in which I die is already "In The Cards". 

     I can be the Queen Of Common Sense, yet be hit by a bus from a crazy driver. 
     I Can Eat Right (whatever that really is), avoid self-destructive vices, exercise, and still           "CROAK" from a massive heart attack or hemmorrhage or whatever!  
I just can't worry about the WAY I'm going to die anymore.  
This has calmed me down
Travel fulfills my need for new challenges; exploration; education and we ALWAYS meet interesting people and animals along the way. I always return, feeling enlightened.  

I've Decided My Love To Travel Is Just More Important, And Fear Is Not Going To Kick My Butt!  

Hope you travel-on and............

Be Fearless In The Pursuit Of What Sets Your Soul On Fire
-Jeniffer Lee

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How Have Handled Your Fears? Do You Have Any Fears? Let know and please comment below. 


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