Sunday, 26 March 2006

Fear of Flying...

Today, I believe I've actually conquered my fear of flying. Yay...

The first flight I ever took was to Jersey on a twin prop (Douglas DC-3 at a guess) for a family holiday. I was 11 at the time, so I can't really remember much about it, other than it was really exciting and the air hostess gave me a boiled sweet to help with my ears popping. Ooh and I came back with an awesome pair of red slip-on shoes and a penknife.

The second flight I ever took, (bar the return flight from Jersey duh) was to Amsterdam for work several years ago and I absolutely crapped myself.
I don't really know why, but not liking roller coaster rides etc and knowing absolutely nothing about the physics of flying led to several changes of underwear (metaphorically speaking) and me believing I was going to die and wishing I had never agreed to put my life at risk.

My third flight was to Germany and then New York on which they never turned the seatbelt sign off during the whole seven and a half hour return flight from hell due to turbulence. Grrr
Having then stopped flying because of finding it too stressful, a couple of years ago I agreed to fly to Majorca for a holiday and although it was good, I still didn't like it one bit. I then flew to the south of France, Italy, Spain and again to Germany, so not bad for fearful flyer, but that prompted me to do something about this irrational fear.

I decided to buy myself Microsoft Flight Simulator*, to learn how to fly various planes and learn what all the jargon, sign, lights, mechanics and codes meant. (Because in disaster movies, there's always a stewardess who shouts, "Can anybody fly the god dam plane?")
I also read 'Flying without fear' by Keith Godfrey followed by Allen Carr's 'Easyway to Enjoy Flying', which I finished today.

I used to believe I risked my life when flying, and that the pilots and air stewards were just flippant about loosing their own. I used to look at the air stewards if there was a patch of turbulence, and if they looked OK, I knew we weren't about to drop out of the sky... This time. That brings me to my old belief that if a plane's engines were to stop, the plane would just fall like a brick from the sky! LOL, from cruising altitude, they can glide for about 150miles to the nearest airport. Also, 'air pockets' grrr, what a modern day old wives tale they are! Thinking back now, I actually feel foolish how I used to believe all the Hollywood disaster movie brain washing.

I actually enjoyed my last flight to Finland, due to some fine grade A smack and a willing air hostess! Just kidding, I enjoyed it because I'm no longer afraid and do not need to take Valium anymore, which only confused the fear, rather than got rid of it.
I have also developed a sad habit of taking multiple pictures of the plane wing, for some unknown reason. (Perhaps to convince myself they are still there, hahaha, just kidding)

[* I now have my 'First Solo Flight' and 'Private Pilot' certificates! How sad.. err, I mean exciting]

Today, I'm most angry about: Old men, E.G. my Dad, deliberately not understanding how to text from a mobile phone, after approximately 145,000 demonstrations.
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 3/10


Stu said...

I love flying!

Doesn't 'alf make your arms ache, though.

DoGGa said...

Boom Boom! I too like flying now!

Stu said...

In fact, I'm saving up for a helicopter lesson. They reckon it requires similar coordination as juggling on a unicycle - which I can do, so that's good :)

DoGGa said...

Haha, your half way there then Stu, although I hope flying a helicopter does require slightly different hand and leg motions.

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