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Are there any studies that have researched into fear of flying when not in the cockpit? The question arises from the fact that for some reason, I have found myself to be scared when on a plane as a passenger, but when at the commands the situation is totally different. This applies also to a lot of people when driving cars for example. Is this a normal human behaviour?

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    $\begingroup$ The aspect of fear when someone else is doing the flying/driving is completely normal, probably due to the stress caused by not being in control. Loosely connected reading: psychologytoday.com/blog/conquer-fear-flying/201509/… This link is a bit "Pop" psychology but I'm very sure there will be more serious work somewhere. $\endgroup$ – Andy Nov 5 '15 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ Apparently, you're not the only one: youtu.be/IgbgEPqndVg?t=7m1s $\endgroup$ – Jörg W Mittag Nov 5 '15 at 13:48
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    $\begingroup$ I voted to leave open because human factors is part of aviation in my book. $\endgroup$ – usernumber Nov 5 '15 at 20:56
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    $\begingroup$ It's interesting, I can relate this to cars. I am a driver with years of experience and hundreds of thousands of kilometers behind the wheel. I take my car to the track and drive quite aggressively and quick most of the time. However, I can't be a passenger on the track and even sometimes on normal roads with most of the people. I have a few that I trust though. $\endgroup$ – Alexus Nov 5 '15 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ Quite handy for googling, it's named amaxophobia. Every possible phobia has a name, e.g. fear of figure 4 is tetraphobia. Should you be relieved of having no phobia at all, and logically fear to get one, then your already got a sneaky one named phobophobia. This may scare more than one, however I didn't check if the fear of phobophobia has a particular name though. Bottom line: phobias are very common reminiscences of (forgotten) past events, particularly from our childhood. $\endgroup$ – mins Nov 6 '15 at 7:09
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I think its extremely normal. The fear of the unknown is very powerful. When you are in control, you generally know what is coming and aren't surprised.

Most pilots I know have no desire to sky dive. They love the freedom of flying, but falling uncontrolled is not enjoyable to them.

When I'm not PIC, sudden drops give me that put in the stomach feeling. When I'm in control, that NEVER happens.

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    $\begingroup$ it's not so much the fear of the unknown as it is about not being in control of things, or even having the illusion of being in control of things. Add a touch of claustrophobia when sitting in a metal tube with only a tiny window to your side rather than sitting in the front with a widescreen view of the world around you and the picture is complete. $\endgroup$ – jwenting Nov 6 '15 at 5:00
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I used to be terrified of flying. When I went on holiday I would book the day before so I didn't have to worry for weeks or months and then I would spend my two weeks worrying about having to get back on the flight. Then I went to the states and a year later decided to go back to the uk. I was so amazed how this B747 got off the ground with max all up weight on a very hot day that the next day I woke up and said "today I will learn to fly" and that I did. My instructor said you will love it or hate it, he was right I loved it. Now although I am a pilot, I am still a very very nervous passenger and I have come to realise the reason is as a passenger I have no control and I'm not alone. Many other pilots I know have said the same thing, it's just like Dr's don't make good patients. No I am not a control freak lol

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