The fear of flying that many people experience can be activated or amplified by a variety of factors (approximately 20% of the US population admits to having some kind of fear or anxiety of flying). After all, flying is not a very natural act. People were not born with wings, and while we are all very capable of sitting, walking, and running, several parts of the whole flying experience run counter to our own sense of what feels “normal.” Naturally then, it may be difficult to get comfortable flying even after a few trips.
…flying is a mode of transportation where someone else is in control and you have little, if any chance, to see what’s actually going on.
Most people are totally at ease when driving a car. While behind the wheel they are in control, steering, pushing on the gas or brake pedals, and observing everything happening around them. Even if they are riding in the front or back seat, they can still observe and easily understand everything that is taking place. However, as a passenger in the cabin of an airliner, they are more or less along for the ride. In the simplest terms, flying is a mode of transportation where someone else is in control and you have little, if any chance, to see what’s actually going on. And even if you could see more of what was happening, either in the cockpit or though a bigger window, you would probably have little knowledge of exactly what was taking place. Just how a machine made of mostly metal and weighting hundreds of thousands of pounds is able to fly through the air at five hundred miles an hour is a bit mystifying to a great many people. Combine the complex principle of how a wing produces lift with a lack of control and a barrage of strange sensations as the plane moves through the sky and you’ve got yourself a pretty good reason for having a fear of flying.
The purpose then of this blog is to provide insight into the world of flying and air travel. How does an airplane work? What causes turbulence? During part of the flight, why do I feel like I’m sometimes being pushed back into my seat? What is that sound? Is it safe for a plane to fly through a snow storm? How often are repairs or maintenance performed on planes? Is air travel safe? These are the questions, along with many others that will be discussed. The hope and underlying purpose of this is to help people learn and understand more about how planes function so that any uncertainty, doubts, or fears that they have will subside. As the statistics show, commercial air travel is one of the safest modes of transportation in existence today. Unfortunately, it’s hard to believe the numbers if you don’t have a comprehensive background on what’s behind them. After reading and following this blog, you should have a better understanding of flying and why it is so safe and reliable. Over time, the whole experience of air travel should become less mysterious and more natural. Eventually, the only surprise that you should have when flying will be when you realize that you forgot to pack a toothbrush.