Author Topic: Fear of flying  (Read 6508 times)

Offline Xerika

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Fear of flying
« on: March 28, 2008, 07:20:27 PM »
Sorry, this hasn't got anything to do with the Erica Jong book but the absolute terror I feel about going up in one of those big iron birds in the sky.

There's a distinct possibility that I may have to do this in the near future and the very thought is already keeping me awake at night. It's not so much that I think the thing is going to plummet out of the sky, but more that I suffer from claustrophobia and dread the idea of being shut up in a tin can for nearly four hours.

What I want to know is:

Does anyone have any suggestions how I can overcome this (including various combinations of pills and/or alcohol) so I won't totally freak out on the plane, be convicted of air rage, and go to prison for several years?


All suggestions gratefully accepted (except from Steve08 as he's bound to say something silly  ;D).
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Offline SteveJ

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008, 07:21:37 PM »
All suggestions gratefully accepted (except from Steve08 as he's bound to say something silly.

Something silly.    ;D ;D
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Offline Xerika

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 07:27:01 PM »
I thank you  ;D.
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Offline SteveJ

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2008, 07:29:24 PM »
I'm sorry mate, I've never flown, except for when Mairi tied me to a rocket recently ;D

Can anyone normal help Mr Xerika, please?
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Offline Xerika

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 07:34:09 PM »
I'm sorry mate, I've never flown, except for when Mairi tied me to a rocket recently ;D

Can anyone normal help Mr Xerika, please?


Yes, I'd like to have seen that particular rocket launch  :).

Anyone normal? I thought this was a writers' forum  ;D.
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Offline ma100

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2008, 07:56:59 PM »
Hi Xerika
Having a great fear of closed spaces myself mate I can sympathise. I would get hold of a strong sleeping tablet and a good swig of whisky before you get on. Then  pray you don't wake up till you land. Having never been in a plane thats as good as it gets advice wise.
Mairi ;D

Offline Xerika

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2008, 08:03:06 PM »
Thanks, Mairi. Sounds like an excellent solution except for one thing...

....I'm an airline pilot.

Nah, just kidding  ;D.
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Offline SteveJ

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2008, 08:03:50 PM »
Thanks, Mairi. Sounds like an excellent solution except for one thing...

....I'm an airline pilot.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
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Offline Big T

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2008, 08:56:26 PM »
Pack a good book in your hand luggage.
Talk to your Doc, there are pills available ... for calmness ... if no Doc try ... marijuana!  :D

If the flight is for 4 hours I imagine there will be in flight entertainment (movies, games) to keep you occupied.
Most medium haul flights have a fair selection of alcoholic drinks ... don't drink too much you get dehydrated.

Try asking for a window seat, you'll be able to see the space, even if you can't get to it.

Go to the loo before boarding ... if you think the cabin is claustrophobic don't think about going into the loo on the plane, I've seen kids struggle to turn around in those  :)

Undergo a paradigm shift ... tell yourself you are going to enjoy the trip.

This is the best I can offer you after 30 years of flying!
Big T  :o

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2008, 09:18:19 PM »
There are a few other ways to travel;

Car, boat train, back of a pick up, bicycle, camel, dog sled, mule, horse, roller skates, ski's, piggy back, walking, pogo stick, motor cycle,
cain, red flyer wagon, rocket, fire from a cannon, human sling shot, back of your mother-in-law.

Which ever way, will have its own down fall. Since the earth is moving at 1000 mph, you could jump in the air and let it move under you.

                   Domenic

Offline ronshannon76

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2008, 11:10:26 PM »
A couple of things sprang to mind.

1. I would suggest you start right now with this one. lock yourself in a dark closet with nothing in it, sit in a chair, grab your knees, and close your eyes. Imagine that you are now in the airplane and try to meditate on it. Fear of flying is just that, fear. If you face your fears, then you can overcome them. Pretend that at this point, the plane is falling, you're a writer, you can handle that. when the plane is falling, imagine it crashing and burning and all the horrible things that you think will happen. When you think of this, think of not the fear of dying, but the love of your family, and the loss that they will miss. Think of the determination that you are coming back to them. Because in truth, none of those bad thing will happen. Face your fears!

If you watch the movie "G", with Eddie Murphy, it has a perfect example of this method.

2. another, is to go to youtube.com and do a video search for flying, or planes, or pilots. I am writing a short story right now that is called, the airplane ride. I posted it on here as well. If you do a search for that stuff, you could see with your own eyes all the horrible things about flying and the most beautiful clouds you have ever seen. When you fly that high, you are above all the clouds, and from that view, you can see the tops of the clouds themselves. Maybe, you could write a story about the beauty of the clouds or a poem. your are also above thunderstorms, and turbulence. trust me, i have been diligently doing that research in the last week.


Well, these are a couple of suggestions. You can try one or both. It's up to you. I hope they work for you. if not, at least it was an interesting effort, right?

Good luck! and, God bless!

-Ron
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 11:12:53 PM by ronshannon76 »

Offline CollegeGuy

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2008, 11:59:36 PM »
2x the standard dose of Horse Tranquilizers...elephant if your fear is real bad.

~~Collegeguy~~
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Offline Gyppo

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2008, 01:20:42 PM »
I'm claustrophobic and the first time I ever flew was in an ancient DH Rapide, which was so cramped the canvas seats folded to allow the pilot to barge his way through to the cockpit after all the 'fiver for a scenic trip around the bay/lighhouse punters' were all wedged in.  Sat on the runway waiting was uncomfortable, but once we were underway it got interesting enough to take my mind off the shoulder crammed against mine.  The view from the window was fascinating, particularly as the plane took off over a cliff so the ground suddenly dropped away.  (Land's End, in more ways than one.)

We circled around the lighthouse a couple of times, scattered a flock of seagulls, and then the pilot - with that warped sense of humour often found amongst those actually holding the stick - flew straight back at the cliff before gently lifting the few extra feet necessaryto touch down on the grass runway.

Once we stopped I felt shut in again, but it was bearable.  At the time I said "Interesting, but never again."

The next time I flew was in an airliner, up to Scotland.  Because it was cheaper and quicker than a train.  To be honest it was more like a coach, so spacious compared to the Rapide.  Quite scary as it took off, thundering down the runway.  (The Rapide had just lumbered a bit, bellowed. bounced twice, and then growled into the sky.)   But the Jet windows (I think it was a Trident, but i won't swear to that) were bigger and it was fascinating to see clouds from above. From 30,000 feet The Lake District looked flat.  Overall it was quite enjoyable, apart from the food which was - traditionally- pretty dire.

The next leg from Glasgow to Inverness was in a smaller and slower prop-driven plane, but that was pretty comfortable as well with the added intererest (and I'm sure it was the interest which took my mind off the fact I was in a fairly narrow metal tube hurtling through the sky) of taking off and landing at night.  I felt a bit disorientated , as I do when a passenger in a car at night, but once we were off the ground the street and road lights below were fascinating.

The next morning - as a student - I was wheeling around above the Cairngorms in a very flimsy feeling sailplane, strapped to a seat with a bubble canopy just above my head.  Despite being largely surrounded by clear plastic I nearly freaked out for a few seconds when the canopy first came down and was locked in place, but from then on I was too damned busy listening to the instructor and soaking up all the new experiences to feel at all frightened.  One thing definitely swamped out the other.

That was flying.  Very different from merely being transported by air ;-)

Interestingly enough I have a cousin who is quite happy diving at night in dark waters and who also goes potholing.  He doesn't find either of these two things claustrophobic, because he's in charge of the situation. When the Army wanted volunteers for parachute training he was in there like a shot - a proper bloody Action Man - but became a near basket-case from claustophobia inside the plane.  They slung him out on a static line jump - which he 'rather enjoyed' - but not enough to ever get him inside a plane again.
 
So to a large extent I think it's all a question of keeping your mind occupied so there isn't room for the 'what if we crash and burn' thoughts to get a real grip.

Otherwise some mild tranquilising may help.

Gyppo     
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Offline Mark H

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2008, 06:18:10 PM »
Confined spaces? If you travel by car/train then what's the difference? If what you really mean is that you don't like the idea of being 5 miles above the ground then go to your nearest flying school and get a trail lesson. Once you have flown a plane yourself it will be a lot less frightening.

C

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Offline Xerika

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Re: Fear of flying
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2008, 08:45:43 PM »
Many thanks to everyone for their words of advice. A combination of sleeping tablets, whisky, horse tranquilisers, and marijuana whilst locking myself in a dark cupboard, jumping up in the air, occupying my mind with a good book and taking flying lessons should do the trick  :). I'll let you know how it goes.

Confined spaces? If you travel by car/train then what's the difference?

Just to answer your question, Mark, if I'm driving a car I know I can always stop and get out whenever I want. If someone else is driving, I can ask them to stop and let me out. If I'm on a train, I know I can always pull the communication cord. I've never actually done that but it's the thought that I could do it if I was desperate that is important. On a plane, they don't normally issue parachutes  :).
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"I'd Rather Eat My Own Face" podcast. The truth about olive harvesting. http://wp.me/p2bC2C-8U

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