Afraid to fly?

Mail and other feedback from listeners.
viennatech
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:32 am

Afraid to fly?

Postby viennatech » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:40 pm

As an avid listener of the podcast I love sharing in all your stories regarding your experiences while in flight. I pose to you all a question. What was the most afraid you were while flying in a small aircraft? Was it due to an actual occourence in air, or maybe it was an FAA inspector? I will find your responses helpful as I am currently flying solo and petrified. I have asked around a bit and I understand this is a "normal" stage but I can't wait for it to end.

As an example check out one of my recent postings... http://viennatech.ca/blog/2008/03/27/le ... ll-afraid/ maybe you can offer insight with your collective knowledge.

Thanks again for a wonderful show and I look forward to the next episode with a glass of The Macallan Cask Strength, since I can't find linies locally!

User avatar
champguy
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Florence, (Coastal) Oregon

Re: Afraid to fly?

Postby champguy » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:21 pm

Take smaller steps, in better weather, in less conjested airspace.
when first learning I had to overcome the PITS, pilot induced turbulence syndrome. Whenever the air seemed to get rough I would let go of the yoke, take a deep breath, realize that the plane would fly itself, then lightly take hold of the yoke again. The air always smothed right out.
Last summer returning home through Logan Pass in Glacier National Park I had to get to 10,000 feet, the mighty ninety purring like a kitten over a bowl of warm milk. Nothing but vertical rocks and ice all around. Twice I had to stop, let go of a mounting fear, take a deep breath, and enjoy the experience of a lifetime. Once through I coasted into Kalispell, Montana for a breakfast that couldn't be beat.
Fear is not a good thing. You recognise it, you can deal with it. Piloting requires multi-tasking, staying open and loose. Even if you have to wrap the plane up into a ball, do it well. No one will get hurt. Thats all that really matters.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
Image

User avatar
PilotBillFromTexas
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:10 am
Location: KGPM Grand Prairie, Texas

Re: Afraid to fly?

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:13 am

@Viennatech -- You must have been really nervous to pass up Tim Hortons!

I would say that you might want to make friends with some other pilots and go fly together. There is something about having another pilot in the seat next to you, not your instructor, whom you can share your passion for flying with while holding each other accountable for safety that makes the experience a lot more enjoyable and a bit less stressful.

You can split the flying duties which will take some of the pressure off. If you let the other guy or gal work the radios and scan for traffic while you fly the plane and navigate then that helps you. You can have them read the checklist while you perform the duties. That is a double check because they will be watching you. You have the comfort of knowing that someone else is double checking you. Then you switch seats and watch how other people fly.

Maybe you can find a Tim' Horton's near an airport and fly there for coffee and a doughnut with your new flying buddy. That would be the Canadian version of the $100 hamburger.

tomcat
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:46 am
Location: currently LSZH (Zurich, Switzerland)

Re: Afraid to fly?

Postby tomcat » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:27 am

I want to second what Bill said, and not only because he is one of my 2 most favorite flying buddies.

:lol:

Hook up with a pilot and go flying with him. Learn. Observe. Relax.

I encountered some SERIOUS chop Sunday flying along one of the main mountain ranges of the Alps, huge pressure difference between N and S of Alps, strong winds from the South pushing weather over towards my flight path, resulting were beautiful standing lenticular clouds and bumpy turbulence that got my right seat passenger (first time in a small plane) excited and my back seat passenger (4 yr old son) sick.

Turbulence, choppyness, wind and gusts are a part of life. Stay slow and (if you have the choice) usually things smooth out with altitude. Light grip on the yoke, ride, don't fight the airplane.

And never pass up Tim Horton's. I enjoyed their food during a trip to Montreal a few years back.

User avatar
PilotBillFromTexas
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:10 am
Location: KGPM Grand Prairie, Texas

Re: Afraid to fly?

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:57 am

tomcat wrote:I want to second what Bill said, and not only because he is one of my 2 most favorite flying buddies.

Luv back at ya! (.. in a completely heterosexual way, of course)

tomcat wrote: ... and my back seat passenger (4 yr old son) sick.

Poor kid. He's the best sick pax I've ever met.

Dave Higdon
Posts: 808
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:02 pm

Re: Afraid to fly?

Postby Dave Higdon » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:58 pm

Viennatech...first, what you're experiencing really IS pretty normal; second, it does subside with time and experience...third -- and this is the big one -- if it ever goes away completely step away from the aircraft...flew, once, with no butterflies, no apprehension, no paranoia or fear...and damned near killed myself in a hang gliding accident that was totally avoidable -- by a pilot showing proper respect for the wing, the launch site and day...

In contrast, the day my primary CFI soloed me in our little Cherokee 140, my flying experience in hang gliders and ultralights already exceeded 3,000 hours -- and I had knots in my stomach, tension in my hands and feet...but faced 'em down, made the first circuit, taxied back...took another deep breath and felt less intimidated and more confident...after the second circuit, I felt even better...but the feeling didn't go away completely until I shut down the engine after my third circuit...

Five weeks later, six days after my check ride, my bride and I prepped to fly a 700-mile leg to Jeffersonville, Ind., overnight with my parents and fly on to Leesburg, Va. the next morning...the only person more nervous than me was my CFI, who came out to see us off and ask whether I had any final questions before going out and "learning to be a pilot...You took the instruction, passed the written and check ride -- that says you know how to fly...

"now you're learning to be a pilot." Truer words I never heard...

And to this day, a mild case of butterflies is still on my personal pre-flight...

"Fuel, check...
"Flaps, check...
Nerves...big check...

I won't fly without em...and then they go away about the time I'm leveling at cruise and don't come back until approach...and if it's IMC, they bring their relatives :shock:

Hang in there and fly...you'll find the balance in time...

User avatar
champguy
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Florence, (Coastal) Oregon

Re: Afraid to fly?

Postby champguy » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:53 pm

Fear means you have a brain, consider the alternative.
Show me a good pilot who isn't always thinking ahead.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
Image


Return to “Listener Mail”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests