Don't let fear of flying clip your wings.

New for 2017

I am now offering a range of solutions to your fear of flying to you directly.

You can choose from:

  • A free downloadable guide to mastering you fear.
  • A short downloadable course to learn new techniques to help you help you help yourself.
  • Group sessions held at an airfield to really get to grips with the support of others and real, six sense stimulants with solutions.
  • One to one personal sessions to really understand and conquer your personal fear of flying. It is often not what you think, so through a series of techniques we can discover and defeat your gremlins. This choice can include an airport visit and the option of a short flight with me at your side to satisfy yourself that all is well.

As a qualified pilot, coach, Hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner, I am well placed to understand and help you through your fears.

To find out more, just complete the contact form below. Your details will not be shared with anyone else and I promise not to pester you with e-mails you don't want. Whether your fear of flying is restricting your holiday plans or limiting your business profits I have the experience and the knowledge to help you.


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A significant percentage of the population have a fear of flying to some extent. There are generally two types of fear, rational and irrational.  Irrational phobia is generally harder to deal with as no amount of explanation or persuasion will make any difference.  The reasons behind phobias can be varied and interesting, frequently having nothing to do with flying at all.

 A phobia can be learned from your parents or may be more to do with not being in control than the distance from the ground. In my experience the latter is often the case.

It can also be difficult for your brain to process conflicting information as your eyes see a fixed view of the inside of the cabin but your inner ear knows you are moving, this is especially true with the sensations in flying.  The same is true for other forms of transport but more so in the air as the effects of gravity can alter as the aircraft changes direction and height.     

 

This may be quite obvious to your conscious rational mind but deep down in the older part of your brain it can lead to fear and nausea.  You may not want to look outside as that is what you think you are afraid of but it usually helps.  Further distractions however such as trying to read or watch a movie may actually make your fear of flying worse.   As with all things in life there is always a balance to be struck so mix it up to find out what works best for you and enjoy yourself. 

Rational fears usually come through experience.  An associate of mine flew to one of the Hebridean Islands on business.  Conditions were less than ideal with strong gusting winds. The pilot tried three times to land but aborted the approach as he was not satisfied.  The fourth approach was better and the landing was spot on.  My friends hands were aching from holding on and he had to change his shirt before the meeting.        

 The flight home was smooth in the calm evening air but the experience had seriously dented his confidence.      

 He still flies but whereas he used to enjoy it he has been on a cruise the last few years for his holiday.  His fear of flying is diminishing with time and is not too debilitating but he is a good example of how experience can shape you.

 It was only when I pointed out that the pilot abandoned the approaches to ensure continued safety that the penny dropped for him. He had convinced himself that they were in mortal peril while flying as the weather was trying to rip the aircraft apart and he would only be safe once on the ground.  The fact is that no pilot would fly into a storm that would endanger the aircraft so you are perfectly safe while you are flying even if the air is rough.


It is worth investing in a relaxation track for your MP3 player as this will reduce the overall anxiety level and stop the "fight or flight" response taking over.  As you will be only too aware there is nowhere to run to and fighting will just lead to you being restrained by the crew and arrested on the ground.  Fear of flying may be a plea to the court to reduce the sentence but you know it will not help your situation any.  Having an audio track  also means you can close your eyes and still get the benefit without the conflict I mentioned before between what you see and what you can feel.

 

I would also personally recommended hypnosis or "Emotional Freedom Technique" often shortened to EFT, as particularly effective solutions.  Look them up for local practitioners but as always do your homework and get a personal recommendation if you can.  The techniques are fantastic but there are idiots in all walks of life.

Knowledge overcomes fear.

Often understanding what makes you afraid helps as it reduces the unknown.  

This applies to what is going on inside your own head as much as what's going on in the aircraft itself.  If you know why you are afraid you will be in a better place to overcome your fear. Likewise if you know more about aircraft and procedures then you will be more aware of what the different noises and movements mean.

Phases of Flight

Most people who say they have a fear of flying are actually quite comfortable with the majority of the experience but really struggle with one or more aspects of it.  You will often hear people say things like; "I'm OK once we are off the ground."  In the interests of understanding yourself and what is going on around you, see how you feel as you read the following paragraphs to see if there is a particular part you dislike.

Boarding the aircraft may be unsettling for some, whether that is going over the air bridge onto the aircraft itself or just dealing with the crowd looking for seats and stowing luggage.

Taxying out to the runway can take a while and for many is the height of anticipation, if you can relax on this phase you lessen the "fear of fear itself."

Take off can be exhilarating or dreadful depending on your point of view, the roar of the engines and the push back into your seat as the aircraft accelerates and lifts off is really the beginning of the flight although you may have been on board for some time already. In my experience this is where many people really hit the peak of their fear of flying. It is at this moment that they literally have least control, especially if you know this is the beginning of many hours of discomfort, even terror.

The climb to altitude is usually very smooth and uneventful with very little going on in the cabin but with some of the best views out of the windows.

The cruise with the movie, the meal and the chat from the captain should be the most relaxing part for most people.

Descending towards your destination often adds excitement as there are a lot of things going on.  The more perceptive passenger may notice the slight cut in engine power and gradual change in pitch of the cabin even before the announcements start. The aircraft will often have to turn several times to comply with airspace restrictions and air traffic control requirements.  As the flaps extend and the wheels go down there are often lots of strange and to some, unnerving noises in the wings and under the floor. 

Landing is a controlled transition between flying and being a big bus on the ground.  Speed has to be reduced to the point where the wings no longer provide lift and the wheels, skis, floats or skids take over supporting the aircraft.  As speed reduces the flying controls become a little less effective so the aircraft responds more slowly. That is why all of those extra devices appear out of the wings, to improve control at reduced speed. Many of the thumps, buzzes and bangs you hear are controls being extended and locked in place.


 If the pilot is not absolutely satisfied that he can maintain sufficient control in the conditions he will not land.  The options are either to try again to see if windy conditions settle enough or to divert to another airport.  Aircraft always carry enough fuel to allow for extra time in the air and to get to a different airfield should they need to.

There are courses available run by airlines with pilots and cabin crew to speak to you.  They can be expensive but usually involve a short flight under more controlled conditions with plenty of sympathetic help available.

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