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Aviation Expert — Welcome all questions

FlipperK

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All,

I have been over in the health anxiety forum but I figured I would stick my head in and offer answers and advice for those who have fears of aviation.

I have been in the industry for 13 years now, starting off as a student pilot, working in international operations for 5 years, and being an operations manager or supervisor for charter companies the last 4 years.

I have seen quite a bit in my time, crashes, incidents, and weird things.

just wanted to offer any help to you guys that need it.
 

bin_tenn

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I just need to know how to overcome a fear of flying. LoL! I've never flown, but I do want to. We'd like to take a trip to New Jersey (from TN) next summer, but the thought of flying still terrified me.
 

MainerMikeBrown

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I've never had a fear of flying because the experts say that statistics show that flying is very, very safe nowadays.
 

thewayiam

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I definitely am uncomfortable flying. Especially after starting to experience my overall anxiety. The last time I flew was August 2019. It is just like with my body - I know too much and too little about it at the same time so I am constantly on alert and can't relax. I do know quite a bit about airplanes for an average citizen, aswell as famous and not-so famous crashes, I am not average though.

I have thought about the physical feeling you get when you are in an emergency decent for example or worse, in an uncontrolled descent. How it would make you feel in your gut? 10 000ft/min? Is it similar to swinging as a child but atleast 10x? I have a parachuting freefalling experience but maybe they're not quite the same if at all...?
 

FlipperK

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I definitely am uncomfortable flying. Especially after starting to experience my overall anxiety. The last time I flew was August 2019. It is just like with my body - I know too much and too little about it at the same time so I am constantly on alert and can't relax. I do know quite a bit about airplanes for an average citizen, aswell as famous and not-so famous crashes, I am not average though.

I have thought about the physical feeling you get when you are in an emergency decent for example or worse, in an uncontrolled descent. How it would make you feel in your gut? 10 000ft/min? Is it similar to swinging as a child but atleast 10x? I have a parachuting freefalling experience but maybe they're not quite the same if at all...?
The only experiences I have with anything close to free fall are doing stalls during my flight training and one time I caught an empty leg on one my old charter companies Hawker 800s.

The stall training is controlled but you do get a brief feeling of weightlessness and then you just feel a sort of free fall until you get control of the plane.

The ride in the hawker 800 was a true fall. Myself the wife and my oldest son took an empty flight to/from Dallas. The company I worked for at the time did a lot of medical flights (organ runs, etc.) and this flight we were flying an organ to Dallas to drop it off. No passengers, only an organ box. We were bored that night and just went on the flight (also got the kid to sleep).

On the way back the aircraft hit a pocket of air and dropped about 300ft. We weren’t wearing seatbelts and we went right into the ceiling. The cabinet doors to the drinks and plates opened up and everything fell out. When the plane finally stopped dropping it felt like hitting the ground. A sudden thump. The whole experience probably only last a few seconds but man was it scary! No damage to the airplane, only thing we left with was a small bruise and a hell of a memory.

pilots came back and asked if I was okay, I told them I was going to dispatch them on night flights for the next month (jokingly of course).

It is one of those things that the more you do it the more comfortable you get. Everyone knows the statistics and all, but even I was scared of flying. During flight school I remember looking down from 1500 ft in the Cessna 172 and I was scared knowing only a thin piece of metal and wood was keeping my seat up lol.
 
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