“What was that noise?! Should I be afraid?”

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This is a question many people who are afraid to fly ask when they do finally get aboard an aircraft. Here at afraidtofly.ca, one of the most common explanations we hear for why people avoid flying is because they hate the idea (and the feelings) of “not being in control” of the aircraft and there’s a little bit of truth to that. It’s true that most people in the back of the plane (that’s pretty much all of us) never get up to the very front of the plane anymore – long gone are the days when a lucky kid could ‘earn’ some wings from the pilot by a visit to the cockpit – and it’s true that even if we could, modern aircraft are so complex, we wouldn’t know what to do up there even if we could get in and sit down in the big chairs.

But what’s not true about that idea is that we actually have more control in our everyday lives. People come up with all kinds of reasons to justify why it feels like they do, citing the fact that if they get nervous while driving they can always pull over because they’re the ones in control, or that if they start to feel some anxiety coming on at they can always take a pill to get rid of it, again because they’re “in control”. However, the fact of the matter is that even if a person runs their life according to the strictest regimen, services their car every 6,000 km without fail or and drives as defensively as a driving instructor, there’s still much more out there that can happen that we’re not in control of. People might choose their restaurants with care, but they’re likely not in charge of where the raw ingredients were bought or who cooked them that night. The most cautious motorist still relies on others to service and maintain their vehicle, and those folks rely on multiple others to manufacture the tools and the parts they’ll use to keep the cars in top shape. Any time you think you’re in control of a situation, take a few steps back and it won’t be long before you realize you’re really not in control of much.

But the funny thing is that even with all that uncertainty in life most of us still function pretty well and without much concern because we’ve decided we’re going to be okay with that. That’s a key ingredient in getting over the fear of flying: Deciding that you’re going to be okay with feeling uncertain about whatever is about to happen next. We don’t have to scrounge around for more and more information to prove that things will be fine. All we need to do is work on being okay with whatever happens.

In the meantime, while you work on that, if you’re still looking for some reassurance to prove that everything is alright, here’s an article on some of the noises you’ll hear aboard big jets.

Noises I will hear on a passenger airplane?



Fear of Flying Courses in the Toronto Area. www.afraidtofly.ca