A fear of flying is definitely quite prevalent these days amongst travellers, especially with news sources blowing up even the smallest aviation incidents for people to read and panic over. It’s understandable why people would naturally be scared of flying. Sitting in “a metal tube travelling through the sky near the speed of at 30-thousand feet” just seems to be against our basic instincts. What’s worse is that airplanes seem to deprive you of any sense of what’s going on. Most of the time you can’t even get an unobstructed view of what’s outside as there are only so many windows seats on a plane and even then the window is so small that very little is able to be seen through it and you might as well just be looking through a telescope. Moreover, most flyers don’t know much, if anything, about the workings of the modern airliner, and that can make things quite scary, especially when you’ve lost a lot of your senses. I’ve heard stories of people shitting their pants (hopefully not literally) during a go-around (which is very common, especially in bad weather). It’s understandable. Your plane is seconds away from touch down, when all of the sudden the engines roar and the plane starts climbing away while you’re sitting in your seat unsure of what’s happening. It doesn’t just end there. Every bump, every thud, and every sound can be the cause of concern for most flyers. It’s not a problem for pilots, aircraft engineers, or us aviation enthusiasts however, as we understand what’s happening while we’re sitting in the aircraft, and for the most part, we enjoy experiencing it. That loud thump that came from the undercarriage while on approach? Oh that must be the landing gear. That strange whirring/barking noise that you sometimes hear on Airbus aircraft? That must be the PTU transferring hydraulic power. How fascinating.
Now I’m sure you didn’t come here looking for my opinion on why people have a fear of flying, and I’m guessing nor did you want to learn about what the PTU does. That definitely was not my intent for this blog post. My goal here is to calm some of those fears that you may have. Despite all the recent aviation tragedies that you may have heard about on the news, flying still is, and has been for a long time, the safest form of transportation that exists. Every time you board the aircraft of a major and trustworthy carrier (list of these in another blog post), the chances of you being involved in a fatal accident are one in seven million. In that case, if you were to fly every day, 365 days a year, it would take you nineteen-thousand years before you would experience a fatal accident. To have something to compare that with, the chances of you being involved in a fatal accident while travelling on a transcontinental railroad are one in a million. In addition to that, you are 100 times more likely to die on your way to the airport than you are on the plane itself. The number of fatal incidents in the past year or two may be somewhat disturbing, but you have to remember how many planes take off and land each day incident free. Driving is statistically far more dangerous than flying, yet a fear of driving is virtually unheard of. There’s no need to be scared the next time you board a plane. You’d be surprised by the strictness of aviation regulations and the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure safety. Flying may very likely be uncomfortable to you perhaps due to the reasons I listed earlier, but remember that the statistics say you’re very, very safe. Enjoy your flight!
If you’re seeking more comforting statistics or want to see where I got mine from, visit this article here: http://anxieties.com/flying-howsafe.php#.VpeorMZ96Uk