A woman called today to inquire if there was room in our January Cleared for Takeoff class for fear of flying.  Since last month’s Arizona Republic article, we’ve been flooded with calls and email enrollments for our Phoenix class taught by veteran pilot Capt. Ron Nielsen.  It’s great that people are seeking help now that they know about our program!

I explained to the woman that I had closed the internet enrollment, which is how most people sign up.  I asked if either she or her daughter are flying before the February class.  Her daughter would like to take a flight soon, she said.  Then I asked some critical questions, like just how bad either woman’s fear of flying is.


When the mother described her fear of flying, she sounded like what I call a “bad” flyer.  Doesn’t like it.  Will fly, but hates it.  However, her daughter, a grown woman with a family, is a true fearful flyer.  She doesn’t fly.  She takes a three-day train ride to the East Coast.  She won’t  go on trips with her husband if she has to fly.

“I see…and why isn’t your daughter calling me?”  I asked.  As a mother of four grown daughters, I know what it’s like to be a mom and want to help your kids no matter how old they are.  I also know fearful flyers, and if they aren’t ready to get over fear of flying, no coaxing, suggesting, or arm twisting by your mother is going to motivate you to get over it.

People tell me that the very act of calling me starts their fear of flying anxiety.  Signing up for the class does the same thing.  So does having to come to Phoenix Sky Harbor to take the Cleared for Takeoff class.

But these are necessary steps in overcoming fear of flying.  You must be willing to take a series of small steps.  And they’re not “Mother May I?” steps either.  The willingness to do the work to overcome fear of flying has to come from within YOU.

But once you’ve decided you’re ready, it’s time to begin.  Take one small step.  And then another.  Do it for you.  Not for your mother or your father or your spouse.  You deserve to live a life without limits, don’t you think?

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