UNDERSTANDING YOUR FEAR: If you are one of those people who start panicking as soon as the plane doors close, there are basic classes you can take aimed at making you comfortable with the normal procedures of flying. Sometimes knowing how aircrafts are designed and how pilots and the aviation industry works can go a long way in allaying your fears. Flying Without Fear or Soar can teach coping techniques you can use the next time you are convinced without any concrete proof that your flight is headed for disaster.
TURBULENCE IS AS SIMPLE AS POTHOLES IN THE ROAD: Very often, if you have the opportunity to speak with a pilot or navigator, they will tell you that turbulence can be among the most common and routine things an aviation professional expects during flight. So humdrum, in fact, that it can be compared to a car going over a pothole on the road. If you keep your seatbelt snugly fastened and breathe calmly and deeply, they say, you should be fine, as dangerous as negotiating a pothole on the road.
KNOWING WHEN TO EXPECT TURBULENCE MAY HELP: Turbulence is so routine, in fact, that it can be predicted when flying over certain regions. Among the places you can expect turbulence: when flying over or near certain mountainous regions, over or during lift-off or landing into desert regions. Arrival and departure at airports situated near mountains, when flying near or over islands in winter, during short flights between islands. Also expect bumpy rides during flights over or near the Bay of Bengal, near and over Japan and near the equator in the Pacific.
UNDERSTAND THE FACTORS THAT CAN CAUSE TURBULENCE & CHOOSE THE BEST CONDITIONS FOR YOUR FLIGHT: Because of less low-altitude hot air meeting the colder upper atmosphere air, early morning and late night flights are believed to be the smoothest. Generally, bigger aircrafts also handle turbulence better than smaller ones because they fly at higher altitudes where they are less like to encounter turbulence. If your seat is toward the front of the plane, you are also likelier to have a smoother ride than those sitting in the back. It can also be noisier near the wings and the rear of the plane.
AVOID DELAY TACTICS: Psychologists also say that sometimes people can be so afraid of flying they deny their fear until the last moment. The delay tactics may take your mind off flying, they say, but can end up creating last minute rush and panic that can produce adrenalin that ultimately aggravates the problem. Much more effective, they say, would be to get to the airport ahead of time and find some distraction there than to create a frantic and stressful situation before you even get there.
BRING THE BOOK YOU JUST CAN'T PUT DOWN: It may be helpful, observers say, to bring along items on your flight that will create pleasant diversions that will take your mind off doomsday scenarios. There is a reason why some books are called "airport novels." Books with interesting plot twists and colorful characters can be an excellent distraction, they say. Or, crossword puzzles, magazines with pictures, and polishing up that powerpoint presentation or some other creative work can also be helpful.
PROJECT AHEAD: Sometimes all it takes is having something wonderful to look forward to on arrival. Take a deep breath, and think about the interesting discoveries and joys waiting for you at the end of the plane ride or, better still, plan or schedule a real treat for yourself on arrival to reward yourself for staying calm and focused. After all, statistics prove that flying can be safer than driving your car, an activity most of us perform fearlessly everyday.
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