Our new poll “What’s the Scariest Part of Flying” has been up on FearlessFlight.com for about a month.  Almost 900 people have voted.  Many more people have looked at the choices of the poll and have apparently been too afraid to even enter their opinion.   Takeoffs…YIKES!  Landings…Oh MY!  Turbulence…HOLY cow!

So far, the winner is, or maybe I should say the big loser is….turbulence!  Forty-two percent of the people voting feel that turbulence is what puts the fear in fear of flying.  No surprise on that one.  In fact, Capt. Ron is fond of introducing the turbulence section of his Cleared for Takeoff class with the comment “I can guarantee that during some bad turbulence, EVERYONE on the plane is afraid to fly!”

When I think of flying through tubulence, I like to remember the little boy flying across the aisle from Capt. Ron and me when we flew to the World Fear of Flying Conference in Montreal.  Somewhere over Canada we encountered some significant weather.  It was BUMPY!  I looked at Capt. Ron, but his gaze never even left his newspaper.  No biggie, I thought.  Still, I couldn’t help but feel some anxiety as we bumped along.

Then I looked at the little boy across the aisle from us.  Instantly I felt better.  This kid, who couldn’t have been more than six or seven, was bouncing up and down in his seat and yelling, ”WHEEE!  WHEEE!”  He may just as well have been on a ride at Disneyland.

This little guy taught me a lesson about turbulence.  If you think it’s the worst and scariest thing imaginable, then for sure it will be.  Just ask all those fearful flyers who were part of the 42% voting that turbulence is the scariest thing about flying.  Ask the little kid who flew across from us that day and he’ll say that turbulence is a fun ride.

If you need some information and coping strategies to help make turbulence less scary for you, consider taking a fear of flying class.   It may not exactly put the “WHEE” back in flying for you, but we can guarantee that it WILL make you a better flyer!

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