Flying Scares The Crap Out Of Me
... Flying scares the crap out of me!
And you know what? It didn't used to be this way. I've been flying since the age of two, and there was a time--not so long ago--when I looked forward to plane travel. I can still remember the excitement of leaving the ground. Not any more...
Is it a lifetime's worth of turbulence and bad landings? Nope. I'm a pretty logical guy, and I know that the chances of my dying in a airplane crash are about the same as my replacing the Decider as our next president. Hell, I'm more likely to die outside my flat. Crossing a single street in this pedestrian shooting gallery I call home is more dangerous than all the plane flights I'll ever take.
And what about aircraft themselves? More air-worthy in my opinion. Planes can do things, handle weather, deal with crowded air corridors in ways that your average 727 could never have attempted. But perhaps that's the kernel of the problem. When a more robust aircraft has to cram in to an approach pattern with dozens of other planes, things get a bit dicey...at least from the passenger's perspective.
I mean, has anyone else noticed how fast aircraft descend from altitude these days? I can remember, as a child, how aircraft used to go 'nose up' with the engines revved down, to gently sink though the atmosphere. Now-a-days the engines rev up, the nose goes DOWN, and planes are flown toward the ground. EEK! F*ckin feels like falling. Ah...that's it then. Now matter how hard I try to convince myself that I'm not about to die, a high-bank turn with the nose pointed at the ground convinces me that all is lost.
I don't care how much more efficient it makes dealing with the number of flights, rapid steep descents executed simply because modern aircraft can take it f*cks with your passenger's heads, and don't we pay the bills? Huh? I don't like having to get off a plane, with my legs shaking, to face a smiling pilot who says, "Please fly with us again," when all I want to do is grab him by the throat and scream, "Thanks for scaring the crap out of me, ASSHOLE!"
I totally agree with you. When I was a little kid I enjoyed flying, it was fun. Now, not so much. My dad had his pilot's license and I've flown enough to recognize pilot errror when I see it. My last two flights I saw it. No third time's the charm.
I like the train, I can see the countryside.
Deb, see above. Trains would be great, but extensive rail systems in the US are a thing of the past I'm afraid.
Peacechick, I've always suspected that what you're talking about is part of the problem. A pilot friend of mine also said that the particular 'posture' (nose slightly up, nose down, whatever) of modern aircraft on descent is just a function of the design. Of course neither of those realizations help in the least.
But I resent the hell out of having to take my fucking shoes off.
As of a few months ago, official TSA policy was that they could not ask you to remove your shoes without cause (not sure what that means). I tried this on a TSA rep at SFO, telling them that I wouldn't remove my shoes until after I'd passed through the metal detector. The pissed-off rep told me that if didn't want to remove them I could sit outside the checkpoint till my flight took off.
TPM, yeah...I have problems with that as well now-a-days. Didn't used to, but I've got pretty bad allergies these days, and that has an effect on how well my ears respond to pressure changes.
The thing that REALLY trips me out is the idea that we are all flying around up higher then Mt. Everest!!! Sitting in those stupid torture chairs being fed something called, "chicken" (or "vegetarian opition" for me) and trying to pretend that we aren't defying physics.
No, man was meant to stay on the ground and out of the ocean is my credo.
I'm with Deb, take the train.
And James, I with you on the ocean thing. Just say no.
I've taken the liberty of commenting on this article on my own blog. I was going to link to it, but couldn't figure out how to do it.
By the way, a very late Happy New Year to you Froggy. Good to know you.
Cranky, thanks for the mention and the correction.
Praguetwin, seems I get more and more nervous with each passing year, though my amount of flying has been constant. And...Happy New Year!
I am not a terrorist, and I refuse to allow myself be treated like a criminal simply because I wish to visit another city in my own country.
Sewmouse, I certainly understand how not wanting to deal with TSA would inhibit one's travel plans. "Paper's please!"
I don't mind a rapid descent either as long as it's pressurized right. Otherwise, I get the ear thing too. It's so bad sometimes that it feels like railroad spikes going through my ears and it takes hours, sometimes days for my ears to pop.
Belated Happy New Year to you darlin.
My wife hates flying though and we are flying to Nashville at the end of this month. Anyone know of a good drug to keep her from freaki9ng out and getting us arrested
Me4Prez...me too...when I was young and all the way to the age of about 35, but after that... And BTW, read what Helen says regarding Xanax. The Frogette takes Xanax (by prescription, and it does help with her own problems with flying.
Tom, I don't mind the crowding so much, but then I'm not a very big guy. These days the knees do get a little creaky on long flights, but that's about it.
I love flying. Of any type. Doesn't matter. It could be the bounciest ride in the world, and I'll still enjoy it. Even went and got my own pilot's license some years ago, although due to financial constraints (Kids.) I'm not current.
One of the things I remember when I was taking my lessons is something my flight instructor drilled into my head. "Dave, remember, you're the pilot in command. FLY THE PLANE! When you want to go somewhere, point the nose in that direction!" When I was practicing some of my first landings, I tended to pull the nose up, and let the plane float down. That didn't last long. My instructor was having none it. "Point the nose of the plane where you want to go!" He would have me line up on final, and aim for an imaginary "X" on the runway, usually in the middle of the numbers, and then would have me point the plane at that "X". The idea is to maintain dynamic control of the aircraft at all times, never letting the plane "fly along by itself."
I noticed several here mentioned that they used to enjoy flying, but no more. You all admit that statistically, it's still safer than walking across the street. So safety isn't really the issue, is it? Perhaps mightn't it be that loss of control over one's own fate you dislike? I've noticed as I grow older that seems to become an issue for us old farts. When we were young an adventurous, perhaps we were willing to put up with more crap than we are now that we're all old, cranky, and unreasonable. I will admit that the security at the airport is particularly onerous. ONE MAN gets into an aircraft with explosive shoes over six years ago, and millions of people have been paying for it ever since. I've a feeling Richard Reid is laughing his ass off at us from his jail cell.
I have one suggestion for you folks. Get a pilot's license and fly yourself. You'll only have to take your shoes off if you want to, and you can carry as many liquids of as many varieties as your little heart desires. Heck, you can even use you cell phone if you want! How good is that?? I mean, is this a great country or what???