Four months ago I travelled to US (my 3rd time visit) from India. I always have that aerophobia just before and during flying but it has grown exponentially when the American Airlines flight took-off from UK (connecting flight) that shook a lot on runway and making lot of noise from inside (probably the cabinet doors). This made me very scare because I never had such experience and after it tookoff into the air it was shaking a lot and moving slightly up and down, may be because of heavy wind. I was so scared and thinking there could be something wrong. My BP raised when I saw lady sitting next to me. While I was trying to stay calm and act like normal, looking at her facial expressions it gave me strong feeling that something is wrong and I was watching outside from the window and then flight took a sudden turn to the left which I felt like the plan going to crash and again that body language of women sitting next to me multiplied my anxiety.

It took me nearly one hour for me to settle down. I drunk 4 pegs of whisky and went to semi-sleep for around 6 hours. Every time plane shook I said to my self "If flight crashes, I am not going to get injuries or handicapped, I will only die". I could not forget this experience even after I reached home in US, for nearly 1 month I use to get nervous about thinking of flying back. I even avoided Dallas-Vegas-Dallas trip by flight by convincing my friends that it would be fun.

I managed to settle my self only after I half-travelled back to India and said "Nothings gonna happen, thousands of flights fly everyday".

Are there any techniques people adopt for controlling this fear? While travelling back I noticed a crew member closed her eyes at the time of takeoff and landing. Does it help anyway? Was that bad experience for sitting on the last second row?

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    $\begingroup$ You could begin to trying to rationalise it. It is true that the safest part of your journey began when you got into the plane, by many orders of magnitude. You are more likely to die driving to the airport, or in a taxi or even walking there. The other thing to remember is that 99.9999% of aircrew, who fly almost every day - often several times a day, retire or change professions. They do not die. Flying is amazingly safe. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Oct 17, 2015 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ Sound advice, @Simon, unfortunately, phobias are irrational fears that go against every bit of sound logical thinking. I'd venture that our OP would be better off visiting Cognitive Sciences.SE with this question, because it's more of a psychological than a flying issue. We all know how safe flying is, (s)he's just afraid anyway. That said, the best way to conquer a fear is, generally, to face it, not avoid it. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Oct 17, 2015 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's really about treating a phobia and that isn't something that aviation experts can address. By analogy, someone who has an irrational fear of spiders should talk to a medical professional rather than to a biologist. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Oct 17, 2015 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Pondlife. While I agree on the general idea, including for the spiders, I remember that airlines organize simulator sessions for public to help them manage their flying fear. Air France (unfortunately in French): 7h30 training, and 30 mn with a psychologist. There are other, including non airlines organizations. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Oct 17, 2015 at 19:21
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    $\begingroup$ That is insane to close a question related to aviation. Not everybody can be an expert, especially the people who are not used by plane transportation but still they board one. So their "experience" is legitimate, thus could ask a question about things related to aviation including fear of it. So wrong. $\endgroup$ Dec 29, 2017 at 15:10


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