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?
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.
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