To an experienced pilot, turbulence during take off, the sound of the landing gear retracting, and the noticeable reduction of engine power are all a normal part of their everyday job. To the anxious or nervous flyer, these same occurrences can be cause for sweating profusely while screaming profanities at the flight attendants.
The extreme fear of flying is quite possibly the number one issue that keeps people from traveling. Bumpiness, lack of control, claustrophobia, and unfamiliar noises can all contribute to this angst, especially when you are up 39,000 feet off the ground!
But, in reality, the most dangerous part of your trip will probably be the drive to the airport.
According to the International Air Transport Association, an average of eight million people fly each and every day—365 days a year. That is equivalent to the entire population of Switzerland!
The odds of being killed in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million. The chances are greater of you being struck by lightning, dying from a bee sting, or becoming the president of the United States. Most people are not afraid of driving in a car even though the odds of dying in an automobile accident are 1 in 5,000. But, there is sense of security that goes along with being in control. I understand.
Several years ago, I was the traveler with the armpit perspiration stains and cursing everyone under my breath, especially myself for being dumb enough to get on the damn plane in the first place.
Prior to boarding, there was always a pit stop to the closest airport bar for a large glass of red wine, maybe two. During flights my husband, who was not afraid at all, would endure the death grip on his hand as my foot tapped uncontrollably. The beginning of descent was cause for counting and recounting the rows of seats between the nearest exit and me, just in case there was an emergency landing that required a rapid evacuation. I was the epitome of a nervous flyer.
I thanked the “Airplane Gods” after every successful landing—and vowed to never fly again.