What Causes a Fear of Flying?

By Rich Presta, the Takeoff Today Program

A fear of flying can severely impact a persons life, in far more ways than it may appear on the surface.

Those struggling with a fear of flying may limit their travel by plane, pass up on career opportunities, miss out on spending time with friends and family, and generally suffer a lack of self esteem by being held back by a flying phobia.

So what causes a fear of flying to begin with?

It can be somewhat unique to everyone, but some people with anxiety about flying may have had a bad experience on a previous flight, such as going through severe turbulence.

Others may have never had a bad flight or any other specific reason for their anxiety while flying in a plane, yet their fear being “trapped” at cruise altitude causes them to feel anxious or have a panic attack while flying.

Still others may not trust the skills and abilities of the pilot or other flight crew, or may not comprehend the physics of how planes fly, so they fear crashing.

It is important to remember that regardless of the ultimate cause of the anxiety about flying, there truly is nothing to fear.

Even those that had a bad experience with flying were almost certainly in no real danger at any point during the flight.

Commercial planes can withstand much more turbulence than is typically seen during flight, and even situations that seem incredibly dangerous, like the rare occasion of an engine failure, are really quite safe due to pilot training and redundant systems.

Anxiety and panic attacks while flying can feel very uncomfortable and make fearful fliers sometimes think that they will lose control or that the fear will escalate to a point that psychologically overwhelms them and puts them in danger, but this simply doesn’t happen from anxiety.

Even extreme anxiety in the form of a panic attack on board an airplane presents no real danger, although they can be very frightening.

The best way to overcome a fear of flying is to approach treatment from a systematic approach that covers not only the safety of flying itself, but that teaches you how to modify your reaction on board so you gain the skills and knowledge that will allow you to put an end to your anxiety or panic on the flight.

The Takeoff Today Program teaches all this and more, using written, audio, and even video material, for a fraction of the price of its competitors.

You can even get an extensive amount of complimentary material, including the poplar “Flight Crew Q&A Report” which answers the most common questions fearful fliers have via interviews with pilots, flight attendants, air traffic controllers, mechanics, and others in the aviation industry.

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