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Tue, Jun. 2nd, 2009 08:50 am
Fear of flying

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(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 2nd, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)

I've got lots of flight stories (though I don't think I've flown more than 15 times in my life). I'm sure a lot of people have. It's nice to read similar thoughts on this to my own. I also go into this 'broody and solitary' state, usually from the moment of booking until the flight itself, and lose a lot of sleep during this period too, however long. In the days before and at the airport whoever I'm with has to put up with it. I'm likewise obsessed by the sounds, every change could be the signal that the disaster is beginning. If it's a night flight and I'm in the aisle, it's maddening, though like a car it can be down to changing gears and so on, but the imagination goes off. I'm also fascinated by crashes, each one seems to have it's own unique scenario. Did you read the Guardian thing a while back about various things you can do in a crash situation/when going down that might help in some way? I can't remember much except keep your shoes on and put something over your face/hood up, make sure you know where the doors are. It had some high statistic of survival- that a lot of accidents are not of the nosedive-and-everyone-dies-screaming type. But people who aren't afraid -to some degree- of flying just lack imagination (I don't get the reading the newspaper or falling asleep as the plane prepares for takeoff thing). Though there is the thrill and excitement too- I still think flying is exceptional and worthy of champagne bottles cracked on the plane's chin with a cheer.

I remember a flight to Canada I was supposed to take, where the combination of the flight with emotional gongs-on meant i had a mini breakdown at the check in. I was able to put my flight back a day, and they said if I'm really worried about it I can come early and the captain will show me round the cockpit- to see how it works. This was of course before 9.11. Oh, and what about Bryan Ferry- he was on that flight from Greece where a guy tried to take control and the plane turned over not once but twice, coming within seconds of burning up. Again, just before 9.11, when cockpits were unlocked.


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