The Fear of Flying
It is estimated that as many as 1 in 4 people have a fear of flying. That’s quite high considering that air travel is much safer than road transport. Why do people have a fear of flying rather than a fear of cars or buses?
Why a fear of flying?
It’s hard to say why people have a fear of flying. It is most likely made up of a number of factors rather than one simple one. A fear of flying could have such things on the list below as contributing factors:
- Fear of heights (many with this once airborne have no fear)
- Learning about air crashes out of context to safety (perception issue)
- Other traumatic events (our experience in another area of life can create fears)
- Fear of vomiting
- Fear of not being in control
- Fear of terrorism
There may be many other factors too that can cause fear of flying but one thing that is interesting to me is that it really ought to be called the “fear of crashing”! In reality, there are very few commercial airline aircraft crashes especially within the advanced countries airlines. Statistics also show that if planes were fully automated safety could be increased much more because of the fact that pilot error is the largest cause of air crashes. Pilot error is attributed to over 50% or air accidents. However, most people don’t like the idea of pilotless aircraft.
Overcome the fear of flying
Many airlines offer courses to help people overcome the fear of flying and a quick Internet search will soon find these for you. On such courses, you will be welcomed by the airline and have an introduction to the pilots and crew, hear how aircraft safety is paramount and enjoy a short flight with aircrew encouraging you at all times. This can be very well worthwhile if a fear of flying is preventing you from seeing distant relatives or taking a holiday of a lifetime.
Do you have a fear of flying?
Please leave a comment on your fear of flying or how you overcame it.