Fear of Flying

Many people have a natural fear of flying and the weather has a lot to do with it. A little shake from the plane can make you panic, sometimes there is a lot of shaking. You need to understand why it occurs to make you less afraid.

There are various conditions that cause a plane to bounce around. Turbulence and bad weather being a major cause. There is always turbulence; it is simply an irregular flow of air that unexpectedly occurs and cannot be seen. The disturbances you feel are a natural phenomena, but they feel very unnatural to passengers 36,000 feet in the air that are stuck in an airplane cabin.

Turbulence is no more dangerous than driving on a bumpy dirt road. It may be uncomfortable and it could harm you if you fall while walking around the cabin but, that is the reason the pilot will turn on the fasten seat belt sign. It's for your safety.

Turbulence is not a problem for the plane or the pilots. It is not a signal that there is a problem with the aircraft. It can't cause a plane to drop from the sky. It's the air moving up and down as the plane flies through it, magnified by the speed and the awareness of how high you are that gives you the fear of falling. Pilots know the facts and have complete control so there is no reason to be concerned. They do their best to inform passengers if turbulence is expected and unavoidable.

There are other reasons that cause a bumpy ride: flying through clouds, over mountains, a weather front, different temperature between air masses, flying at a high altitude near jet streams.  While flying through these systems, don't assume the worse. The pilots  are concentrating on flying. Once the problem diminishes they will let you know what's going on. The pilots will always put their duties of flying first and foremost.

Take Offs and Landings scare more people than the actual flying. If weather conditions are unsuitable for either, the pilot will not attempt them. It's as simple as that.

Fog and poor visibility, sometimes cause flight delays. When visibility drops below one mile Runway Visual Range, the airport enforces  Low Visibility Procedures. Air Traffic will reduce the number of planes  taxiing and taking off. Crosswinds are a major consideration. If the wind is outside the allowable limits, the flight will be delayed or canceled.

When Landing there are cross wind limits and they vary depending on the landing  technique used as well as runway conditions.  The runways are checked before landing. If the weather is outside the limits at the airport, the pilot will either be put into a hold or divert the plane to another airport. The pilot will not operate the plane outside of the allowed limits.

Aircraft are air tested  and stressed to an extent that it is impossible to replicate in flight. They will not break apart, and they are checked before every flight. Next time you fly and feel some unexpected bumps, relax! You are safer in a plane than driving in a car. Your pilot knows what to do and they are well-trained in every situation so trust their judgment.  Remember, the pilot wants to get back home to their family as well.  Enjoy the flight!

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