Why do people get nervous when they fly?

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  • #1654034

    Cessna172
    Participant

    @2scents
    What if that same pilot with all that flying experience and training were to offer you a ride in a small plane, would you take it. My flight instructor was in the Israeli Air Force for ten years, flight instructor for 30, and has trained many airline pilots (many El- Al pilots), and still people are scared to fly with him.

    #1654035

    Cessna172
    Participant

    People are not scared to fly in a small plane because of the pilot, they are scared to fly in a small plane just because it is a small plane.

    #1654067

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    That’s probably because if the great metal skybird is large enough, it is easier to pretend that one is not flying.

    #1654081

    Ctrl Alt Del
    Participant

    RebYidd, HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    #1654076

    DovidBT
    Participant

    @Cessna172

    I have a private pilot license and have flown Cessna 172’s, although it’s been a long time. Before I started flight training, I knew absolutely nothing about small planes or how planes work.

    I suspect the reluctance of the prospective passengers is due to ignorance.

    #1654213

    tgsm
    Participant

    LOTR92,

    why is driving to the airport the most dangerous part of flying???

    #1654363

    DovidBT
    Participant

    @tgsm
    Because statistically, car accidents are much more common than airplane accidents.

    #1654383

    DovidBT
    Participant

    Another thought occurred to me.

    I haven’t piloted an airplane for decades. But as far as I know, my private pilot license is still valid (they don’t expire). If I renewed my medical certificate, which only requires a visit to a doctor, I could legally get in a Cessna 172 tomorrow and fly it. That’s assuming that the owner of the airplane didn’t require taking me for a checkride.

    That’s one difference between private vs. commercial aviation. There’s far less oversight by the government. It’s up to individuals to verify that the aircraft has been properly maintained and that the pilot is competent.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  Y.W. Editor.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  DovidBT.
    #1654529

    Joseph
    Participant

    Dovid, your comparison of accidents to driving is applicable to commercial aviation, not general/private aviation. General/private aviation is much much more accident prone and a far higher fatality rate than commercial aviation.

    #1654558

    DovidBT
    Participant

    Joseph, I think that car accidents are much much more common than general/private aviation accidents. When I served as chief of police of a large city for eight years, we had to respond to tens of thousands of car accidents, but only a handful of airplane accidents.

    (One of the above statements is false.)

    #1654785

    Cessna172
    Participant

    @dovidbt
    In addition to renewing your medical certificate every five years, every 2 once your 40, you also have to take a flight review. Its basically another flying lesson with a flight instructor, in which he makes sure you are up do date with all of the maneuvers, straight and level, stalls, slow flight, emergency procedures etc.

    You also need to do 3 takeoffs and landings every 90 days in order to fly passengers.

    #1654805

    Cessna172
    Participant

    @dovidbt
    What airport did you fly out of?
    I fly from FRG.

    #1654839

    DovidBT
    Participant

    @Cessna172

    Thanks for the info. In that case, I could fly, but not legally. But the typical passenger would not know the difference. 🙂

    I flew out of an airport other than FRG. 🙂

    #1654995

    Cessna172
    Participant

    @dovidbt
    No rental company would let you fly unless you show them your logbook, which would show that you aren’t current.

    Was it a towered airport or non towered airport

    #1654998

    Cessna172
    Participant

    So basically to sum everything up, people don’t understand anything about general aviation. Because they don’t understand it, they view it with apprehension and even downright fear. Then they try to rationalize this fear by convincing everyone its dangerous.

    #1655021

    DovidBT
    Participant

    Was it a towered airport or non towered airport

    Yes 🙂

    I flew in and out of lots of airports. Some had FAA control towers, some only had FBO’s monitoring the radio, some had neither.

    #1655856

    Cessna172
    Participant

    @gratefulblac
    I don’t know if all this will help but…
    Something probably made you nervous to fly.
    Perhaps your previous flight had some turbulence which might have made you uncomfortable enough to not want to fly again. Maybe there was a plane crash on the news. It could have been anything.
    Research what every bump and noise during a flight is, landing gear, flaps, change in engine power etc.
    Look up all the difference types of turbulence there is, and see that it is almost impossible for a large airliner to go down because of turbulence. Maybe even look up different airline accidents, see the cause, and what response airlines took to make sure it never happens again.
    I know someone that had a phobia of flying. One flight they met one of their pilots and he explained everything (above) to him. Since then he is a lot more comfortable flying, and even enjoys it.

    #1655890

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Because statistically, car accidents are much more common than airplane accidents.

    Of course, because there are so many more car trips than plane trips. That doesn’t make flying safer.

    #1656076

    Cessna172
    Participant

    If the brakes fail on the highway during traffic or by a red light, most people will crash, and depending on the speed of the car it will be fatal. Nobody practices these if any emergencies in a car. Some people know what to do, but if c”v something does happen, they will panic and crash.
    By planes, if something breaks, there is always time to react. Even if something happens, c”v, pilots trained for it.
    We simulate engine failure all the time. My instructor pulled the throttle at random times, takeoff, landing, during climb out, and random times during the flight. Throughout my flights I always look out for places to land, just in case.
    Pilots also practice stalls. Many also practice spins.
    There is a major difference between planes and cars.

    #1656100

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Fear can’t be rationalized. A person can be completely aware that something is not actually harmful and still feel very afraid.

    #1656193

    Milhouse
    Participant

    DaasYochid, it’s got nothing to do with the fact that more people drive than fly. There are more injuries and fatalities when driving than when flying, per passenger/mile traveled. Simply put, if you have to travel 500 miles, you’re more likely to be hurt if you drive than if you fly.

    Phobias can’t always be explained; they just have to be lived with. Some people are afraid of being enclosed in small spaces, while others are afraid of being unprotected in wide-open spaces. Some people are afraid of crowds, others of isolation. Some of heights and some of being at the bottom of tall buildings. You can’t reconcile those, they’re opposite phobias, but both are very real and debilitating for their sufferers.

    #1656452

    MTG
    Participant

    I’m more afraid of turbulence then actually flying.

    #1656432

    Cessna172
    Participant

    Yes, phobias are irrational, but they can be conquered. Most people who have phobias of flying, if they go flying in a small plane, and they get put in front of the controls, the phobia disappears. I know someone who does this all the time, and he has a 90% success rate.

    Fun fact: I have a fear of heights. If I go on the third step of a ladder, I start panicking and start freezing up.
    It has never affected me in a plane, even during stalls or spins.

    #1656507

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Exposure therapy is recommended for fears that affect everyday life because phobias are not rational. However, it needs to be done willingly and correctly; pushing or forcing someone toward a phobic stimulus can actually reinforce the fear.

    #1656899

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    What if the ‘F1’ Button gets jammed, how would you get help.

    Others could get confused with the restart/reset button (the one they always use after a successful crash)

    #1657102

    LOTR92
    Participant

    @tgsm
    driving to the airport is the most dangerous part of flying because driving is more dangerous than flying.
    it’s a popular pilots joke.

    #1657381

    Cessna172
    Participant

    @mtg
    I’m more afraid of turbulence than actually flying.

    There is nothing dangerous with turbulence. Only a few rare times has it actually caused injuries. There are many different types of turbulence, and only a few can actually do damage. Wherever any of these types are, (usually around thunderstorms) pilots stay far away. Otherwise turbulence is just annoying. Think about a boat on water. Boats can ride pretty big waves, without suffering any damage. Turbulence is just a “wave” of wind. The plane might move up and down, sometimes even pretty fast, but its not dangerous.

    #1657583

    LOTR92
    Participant

    Unless you are going downwind in a boat, the waves are very dangerous to a boat if the wave is taller than the boat is long. if a boat tries to climb a wave that is too big it will slide to the side, and go “beam-to” flip over sideways by the wave hitting it broadside, and instantly lose ship to shore communications. the only similarity I can see between planes and boats is if you are going downwind, with the storm, and you have to go faster than the waves, so you are not swamped a plane needs to go faster than the wind to keep up airspeed so it won’t stall

    #1657658

    DovidBT
    Participant

    a plane needs to faster than the wind to keep up airspeed so that it won’t stall
    That’s not exactly how it works. The airplane is “inside the wind”, so it’s relative airspeed that matters. Actually it’s the “angle of attack” that determines when a plane stalls.

    #1657743

    LOTR92
    Participant

    I stand corrected. I am no expert on airplanes, that is good info to know. thanks.

    #1657753

    Cessna172
    Participant

    A plane flying is dependent on the angle of attack (AOA) as @dovidbt said. The faster the airspeed, the AOA decreases, as do the chances of stalling. The slower the airspeed, AOA increases, increasing the chance of a stall. If the AOA increases more than 18 degrees, a plane will stall even with its nose down.
    If a plane is flying downwind at an airspeed of 80kts, and the wind is 35kts, assuming the plane has a stall speed of 50kts, the plane will stall unless more power is added. That’s why its important to plan ahead and know the wind direction/speed before the flight.

    #1657761

    DovidBT
    Participant

    Here’s a specific example:

    Suppose an airplane has a stall speed of 48 knots, and there’s a headwind of 60 knots. The plane doesn’t have to fly at 60+48=108 knots to keep from stalling. Since the plane is inside the air mass that’s moving at 60 knots, it only has to fly at 48 knots (indicated air speed) relative to the enclosing air mass. To an observer on the ground, though, the plane would appear to be flying at 48-60=-12 knots, i.e. it would appear to be moving backwards at 12 knots.

    #1657842

    Cessna172
    Participant

    Or think of a surfer in a wave pool. As long as the water is moving towards him fast enough, he stays afloat, even though to an observer he appears stationary. As the water slows, it becomes harder and he eventually sinks.

    #1657874

    Yehudah Beck
    Participant

    I get nervous because usually when I fly I sit on half eaten patato kugel

    #1657892

    Cessna172
    Participant

    Do you finish it when you land:)

    #1658313

    Cessna172
    Participant

    The latest YWN article about the F-15 losing its canopy and landing safely, is a prime example of a pilot keeping calm, despite the shock he must have had.

    DRAMATIC AUDIO: Israeli F-15 Pilots Lose ENTIRE CANOPY At 30,000 Feet – Land Plane Safely

    #1658857

    LOTR92
    Participant

    is there anyway if the wind hits a plane the wrong way the plane will flip, or be “swamped” like a wave going over the stern of a boat.

    #1658936

    DovidBT
    Participant

    It’s possible for a wind gust to flip a plane. I don’t know if the “swamped” analogy applies to planes.

    Light planes have to be especially careful when landing or taking off behind large, heavy planes, because of “wingtip vortices” produced by the big planes.

    #1659054

    Cessna172
    Participant

    B”H I never experienced wake turbulence. I was told that if you are high enough and seat belted, it can be quite a shock but not dangerous. You will just do a few rolls in the air until you regain control.
    If a boat flips, I’m sure the outcome is very different.

    #1659491

    LOTR92
    Participant

    it is dangerous. if a boat is hit by a gig enough wave, mainly waves taller then the boat is long, the boat will flip[ and instantly lose ship to shore communications. in a storm if the waves are not so big the boat will be pushed downwards, and the deck will fill with water. it’s a problem if the scuppers are not clear

    #1660149

    Cessna172
    Participant

    So flying is safer than boats too.
    It seems that flying is the safest mode of travel.

    #1660358

    LOTR92
    Participant

    that would only be in a massive storm. there probably is a bigger margin of error for sailing than flying, small boats can completely flip and recover perfectly fine

    #1662736

    Cessna172
    Participant

    Another great example of a pilot able to pull off the impossible because he kept his cool. if he would’ve panicked and tried to land at an airport, the results could’ve c”v been worse than 9/11.
    B”H there were no fatalities.

    TEN YEARS: ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ Survivors Mark Decade Of Thankfulness [DRAMATIC FOOTAGE]

    #1671978

    MTG
    Participant

    people are nervous when they fly bec. it’s weird.

    #1672278

    knaidlach
    Participant

    because they are not sure how to use the mask in case of……chas veshalom.

    BTW did anyone here ever sit at the exit row?

    #1672533

    LOTR92
    Participant

    Real flight attendant announcements: (I heard this thirdhand, the wording is probably diff.)
    If the plane begins to crash, stop screaming, put yourself together, and put the mask on that will be hanging to your right. If you have a person next to you that is acting like a baby, put it on them, then secure your mask. If there are two such people traveling with you, decide now who you like more.

    #1672900

    Cessna172
    Participant

    @knaidlach
    I highly doubt that is the reason people are nervous to fly. The mask is extremely simple to use. Before every flight the flight attendants preform a demonstration.
    There is only need for oxygen if the flight will be above 14500 ft. Many general aviation aircraft are not pressurized so if you fly that high you need to bring supplemental oxygen.
    Therefore, since there is no “mask” needed on a general aviation plane, people should not be nervous to fly.

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