Sharing tips to my friends who fear flying, stress, worry about air travel.. just like your friends really. I reached out to the pilot to write a guest post, and I’m also sharing some of the tips I’ve received!
Friends out there know that I hate flying. They also find it ironic and funny that my husband is a pilot who loves to fly. After all these years, he is still disappointed when a flight gets canceled. It still sums up his best travels to me (even when I’m out at the abbreviations and #adhd hand signals). When we fly together, I feel much less nervous. I know he can handle things if something goes wrong, and I can push him when I hear a voice and he tells me what it is. However, when I travel alone, I spend almost the majority of the time holding the armrests, sweating profusely, and saying Peace be upon you, Mary Over and over again in my mind. (Unless there is any disturbance and I can read a book.)
On my recent trip with the girls to Hawaii – I was just on my own – I was especially afraid of flying over the ocean. The worst part is that I have to play it great because I don’t want them to be nervous either. Kids are travel professionals. They watch a movie or play a Nintendo Switch and eat a lot of snacks on the fly.
Two things helped me on this journey:
– Before boarding, I checked the radar to see how many planes were in the air at that moment. It made me realize that my flight was insignificant to the thousands who take off and land every day.
– I got this advice from Fear of flying Reddit صفحةPretend you are on a bus traveling safely from point A to point B. This helped a lot!!
– I made sure I had a lot of things to keep me distracted. I read an entire book on my way to Hawaii and it kept me busy so I didn’t have time to think about the fact that I was inside a metal box in the sky.
Very good CBD. I have it with me, and even if I do not need to take it, it is convenient to have it on hand. (This is what I’m using. With complete transparency, I used to share with them and still follow. My code FITNESSISTA still works for a discount!)
I asked the pilot if he would help me with a guest post about tips for my fellow neuroscientists, and this is what he wrote!
My real life Top Gun 😉
Tips for anxious travelers (from a pilot)
Good morning, friends. Fitness has its hands full this morning, so the pilot is here with some tidbits to help anxious travelers. Let me start by saying that these are not tips on how to be more overweight during air travel. Suggestions for the best soothing music to listen to and any decaffeinated herbal tea will calm you down a bit. However, I am happy to share with you a sneak peek behind the scenes of what is happening during your trip to make you feel even more comfortable. If you have nerves of steel and the turbulence doesn’t bother you, you can at least share this with your terrified seatmate banging the armrest on the road trip which is the last way to get to Vegas in summer.
Emergency Preparedness and Simulation
You’ve flown a small, maneuverable plane for the military and a large, highly automated plane for a major airline. I’ve seen a lot over the past 19 years of professional flying, and while there have been times when something unusual happened that I hadn’t experienced before, nothing surprised me. This is because the training is very good. The simulation events that train us to perform emergency procedures, on both sides of military and legacy airlines, are but a series of disasters, one after another, often compounding one another. Conditions such as weather and performance factors are often the worst case scenarios. but, The expectation of a behavioral response in the management of these disasters is calm and methodical. Pilots face a myriad of emergencies until problem(s) become second nature. By the time I lost an engine in combat in 2009, it felt too easy because nothing else was going well. Luckily, most of the time, we’re just there watching the flight, sipping coffee, and planning the next leg of the trip (while enjoying the view, of course).
Real handling of strange disturbances and noises
So this is the aspect of human factors. Let’s talk about the planes themselves. What’s up with all that noise and bumps along the way? First of all, turbulence, those bumps that you feel, are good. It will not hurt the plane. Pilots constantly talk to air traffic control about what kind of “ride” the flight in front is having, and whether another altitude is better, but this is usually just for the convenience of the passengers. The plane itself can be hit hard. It will fly well through heavy rain/snow. Lightning can strike her. It can fly with one motor to a suitable airport for safe landing. It is an engineering masterpiece.
So, let’s talk about weird sounds. Chances are, if you’re a nervous flyer, you’re very perceptive and pick up on every little thing. I’m here to tell you, it’s okay. Engine spooling and deceleration are normal for all flight systems, including right after takeoff. When you hear a buzz like the wind is picking up a little and the plane is shaking a little bit, that’s just the speed brakes going out. Speed brakes are generally used to meet approach speed limits when the trip computer hasn’t fully calculated your landing point or when you need to slow down to take out the flaps and gear. I have used it on almost every trip. Obviously, the landing gear can be quite high. The loud sound you then hear is the gear doors closing. It’s possible that all the other weird sounds are just flight control surfaces like flaps, slides, and clips. No big problem.
There are some things outside of a normal flight that can look worrisome on the surface, so let’s talk about them. moving around. When the plane looks ready to land, but at the last minute, the engines run, and you’re pushed back into your seat as the plane begins to climb away. Yikes – This must be bad, right? no. Someone just made a very smart decision. Deflection can occur for a myriad of reasons: a previous landing aircraft was too slow to clear the runway (or the ATC did not provide proper spacing), crosswinds overstepped its bounds, and the aircraft was not properly prepared for landing by a specific person. The point is, the pilots did not see the required visual references to the ground due to the weather, etc., the point is, Someone checked their ego and made the difficult (but right) decision to turn around And that’s the kind of judgment you want on board.
It’s better to do this 5 times in a row than to push with a landing that shouldn’t happen there. Pilots plan for fuel so that after a certain point, if they are unable to land, they will have enough fuel to reach their alternate destination that will have better landing conditions. This may require pilots to hold or spin in one place until the weather clears up and coordination is complete, so don’t let this “idle” time worry you either.
Anyway, this is the shortlist for now. I hope this gave you some reassurance about what happens the next time you travel. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or message Jenna, and I will do my best to answer them.
Until next time.
– the pilot