How To Get Over the Fear Of Flying: The 2-Step Master Plan

Has learning how to overcome fear of flying become a priority for you? Do you imagine that everything that could go wrong on a plane, will go wrong? Does your anxiety cause your heart to race uncontrollably before, during and after the flight? Has your fear of flying prevented you from even getting on a plane?

If any of these are familiar to you, you’ve come to the right place. Most fear concerning flying is irrational—it is a set of fears based on events that will very likely never take place. This guide will addresses safety issues of the air travel industry and help you begin approaching flying based on facts rather than unfounded fear. Here are the three steps to overcoming the fear of flying:

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1. Recognize and Eliminate Irrational Fears

Virtually all forms of the fear of flying come from three root fears:

  • Fear of the unknown
  • Lack of trust in the airplane itself
  • Lack of trust in airline personnel (pilots, mechanics, air traffic control, etc.)


7 tips on how to overcome fear of flying

My aim is to shed some light on the unknown and provide relevant information on the airline industry in general to help bring your level of fear down. It is important to note that the fear of flying is not a rational response to a legitimate danger.

It is a response based on irrational fear from within yourself.

As you learn the facts about airline safety, you will be able
to replace irrational fears and anxiety with a calmer mindset based on facts about airline industry safety.
Armed with this information, you will hopefully learn how to overcome fear of flying quickly for good.

No one can truthfully say that air travel is completely risk-free. But it is the safest mode of transportation. Consider this quote from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website: 

Air travel is the safest mode of mass transportation. According to Dr. Arnold Barnett of MIT, based on the accident rate over the last few years, you would have to fly on average once a day every day for 22,000 years before you would perish in a U.S. commercial aviation accident. In 1998 there were more than 10 million departures and not one fatality aboard a commercial aircraft.

Let’s look at another angle of how to overcome fear of flying in airplanes. Here is some interesting data:

Flying Safety Statistics

Average Deaths Per Year

  • Bicycle 1,000
  • Gunfire accidents: 1,452
  • Medical procedure complications: 3,000
  • Drowning: 5,000

SOURCES: Bureau of Safety Statistics, National Transportation Safety Board

Compare those stats with this one: From 1982 through 2010, 3,288 people in the U.S. died from airplane related causes. To emphasize, these stats are not from one year, but from 
30 years combined. For more stats, see our flying safety statistics page

Fear of Flying FAQ

Now we’ll take a look at seven common questions, fears and attitudes involving the fear of flying, along with the facts involved:

Isn’t a Car Safer?

A big part of this rationale goes back to the trust issue: In a car, you control your destiny and feel safer, while in a plane, you are not in control and experience more fear. This may be true—to an extent—but does it mean you are safer? Consider this: To obtain a pilot’s license, you need years of training. To obtain a driver’s license for yourself, you merely need to pass a basic written and driving test. Plus, as a driver, you cannot control what other drivers do. Other drivers often drive while intoxicated or are distracted by talking on a cell phone, texting or fiddling with the radio.

Pilots, on the other hand, are constantly monitored through radio during a flight. From 2002 to 2007, there were 109 deaths due to aircraft crashes according to the FAA. During the same time period, 196,724 people died in automobile accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The FAA has estimated that flying is about 200 times safer than automobiles, which the previous statistics bear out. 

How Do Airplanes Stay in the Air? Are They Really Safe?

flying data

 Fear of flying statistics reveal that 73% of fearful flyers are afraid of mechanical problems during flight. So an important part of how to overcome fear of flying is understanding of how an aircraft works and learning to trust it.

There are four forces that work together to allow a plane to fly: gravity, drag, lift and thrust. I won’t get into the scientific explanations, but suffice it to say that the process allows planes to fly as naturally as it is for us to walk. As one pilot said it best, “planes are the happiest in the air.” Everything about a plane is designed to fulfill its purpose—to get its passengers and crew safely from one place to the other through the air.

Safety procedures includes repair and upkeep. Airlines engage in ongoing routine maintenance and overhaul planes as needed. For every hour that it flies, a modern airplane undergoes 11 hours of maintenance.

It may surprise you to know that jet engines are much simpler than those in automobile engines or even lawnmowers. This makes them much more durable and less likely to break down. And in the unlikely event that one of the engines fail? A plane is perfectly capable of running on one engine.

Click here for the #1 method for conquering fear of flying

Is Turbulence Dangerous? 

A bumpy ride on a plane tends to make those with flight anxiety even more nervous. But once you understand what causes it, you’ll understand why turbulence is a very normal part of flying and not a cause for fear or concern. You may have learned from weather reports that air pressure can fluctuate from one area to the next.

When a plane flies through an area of low pressure to high pressure (or vice versa), it causes a “bump” in the ride. These bumps aren’t dangerous, but pilots intentionally navigate away from strong turbulence to ensure the smoothest possible ride and the least anxiety for passengers. Another fact to keep in mind: Modern planes are designed to handle much more intensive turbulence than they would ever encounter. Note: I’ve noticed that many airlines, including Delta, Southwest and Spirit now use the term “rough air,” while United still uses “turbulence.”

Does Weather Affect the Plane?

Many people have a particular fear of flying in thunderstorms and other inclement weather. The weather is always monitored before and during the flight time, and sophisticated weather radar in planes can detect storms from 160 miles away. If weather is too dangerous for flight, the flight will be delayed, or if you have already taken off, the pilot will fly around it or land at an alternate airport.  Rain doesn’t affect a plane’s ability to fly, and planes are equipped to withstand lightning strikes.

Will the Plane Crash Into Another Plane?

This is a common fear, but planes crashing into one another is highly unlikely. Airliners are always in contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC). ATC can track all planes’ movement by radar and ensure they maintain a safe distance from each other. Additionally, planes have Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) on board which lets them know to adjust their path as needed, so this is another flying fear that is largely unfounded.

Can the Plane Doors Come Open During the Flight?

No. Once the aircraft is pressurized, there is nothing to fear; it is impossible for the plane doors to be opened. At around 30,000 feet, there is 20,000 pounds of pressure holding them shut.

How Qualified Are Pilots? What Training Do They Receive?

Another key component of conquering the fear of flying is learning to trust the pilots, so I thought I should expound on the qualifications and training of these professionals. Airlines hire people who already know how to fly. These pilots come either from a military or civilian backgrounds and have already earned an air transport pilot (ATP) license and logged a minimum of 1,500 hours required as a prerequisite to applying at a major airline.

The training pilots get from airlines after hire focuses on learning to fly commercial airplanes and following Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines. Potential hires are thoroughly screened. They receive a battery of psychological tests to assess abilities and to ensure a stable personality. They must then prove their flying abilities in a simulator. A physical and health history is also obtained; the presence or family history of a serious condition will likely end an applicant’s candidacy for the job. At the end of the process, a panel of pilots will perform an in-depth interview of the candidate.

When pilots are hired, they are trained for a period of time—an average of two to three months—on aircraft systems as well as FAA and company policies and procedures. The pilot must pass computer generated tests and an oral exam given by an FAA representative or FAA-appointed representative.

Next, simulator training prepares the pilot for a wide variety of events—both routine and abnormal—that a pilot will encounter in the air. This training covers instrument gauges, computer systems and emergency procedures. The newly hired pilot must demonstrate proficiency in every aspect of the job to an FAA or FAA-approved instructor (also called “check airman”) before continuing training.

In the first 15-25 hours on the plane they are assigned a company check airman. New hire pilots begin as a “first officer” and are supervised by the captain, who is also in charge of the rest of the crew as well as the plane and its cargo.

First officers begin on a one year probationary time period. The captain submits an evaluation of a new pilot’s performance each month. If the ratings are satisfactory, the probationary status is removed. It may decrease your anxiety to know that both captains and first officers undergo regular and extensive continuing flying education. They are also rechecked for proficiencies—annually for first officers, every two years for captains.

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2. Understand Treatment Options

There Are A Variety Of  Fear of Flying Treatment Options Available

The fear of flying can be an isolating feeling, especially if it prevents you from traveling for work, pleasure or to stay in touch with family and friends living afar. Does simply the thought of boarding a plane fill you with anxiety? Does each flight feel like a terrifying gauntlet? You are not alone.

Millions share your discomfort. With airplanes serving as today’s most convenient form of long-distance travel, overcoming a fear of flying is of paramount importance for many people. For those looking for a fear of flying treatment, there are a number of options available. From fear of flying therapy to hypnosis, many have learned to board a plane with confidence and peace of mind.

Click here to read our personal review of the two top Flying Anxiety Courses

Professional Counseling

To get to the root cause of your fear, you may want to try talk therapy. Find a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist in your area who specializes in treating patients with anxiety disorders. If you are not sure the difference between these professionals, here is a brief explanation:

  • A counselor or therapist hold a Master’s degree plus a particular license such as Licensed Professional Counselors or Licensed Clinical Social Workers. These type of therapists specialize in talk therapy.
  • A psychologist holds a Doctorate degree (Ph.D or Psy.D) in psychology. Psychologists also specialize in talk therapy but also perform functions such as psychological testing and research. A handful of states allow psychologists to prescribe medication.
  • Psychiatrists are physicians (or medical doctors—M.D’s) with a specialty in mental health. Many psychiatrists continue to provide talk therapy. But increasingly, psychiatrists focus more on medication management and leave the traditional hour talk therapy sessions to counselors, therapists and psychologists.

Finding local fear of flying classes or someone that specializes specifically in the fear of flying would be ideal, but counselors with that specialty are more difficult to find. A good alternative would be the SOAR Program, an online course developed by Tom Bunn, an airline Captain and licensed therapist. Part of the program includes phone counseling with Captain Tom.

For more information, click here or see the online courses section at the end of this article.

Discussing when your fear began and possible triggers, you may be able to gain insight into your anxiety. A therapist can help you change your internal dialogue and replace it with a confidence boosting mantra to help you control your feelings of panic.


Many choose to complement talk therapy with anti-anxiety medications. If you are seeing a therapist or counselor, they will often recommend a psychiatrist or refer you to your medial doctor to discuss an appropriate prescription. Medications like Valium can allay the heart racing and adrenaline rushes of anxiety to help you stay calm. With more composure, you will be better able to remember flying is one of the safest forms of transportation and pilots and crews are some of the most highly trained professionals in the world.

The downside to medication is that while it may alleviate your physical symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily treat the underlying issues that manifest in the fear of flying.

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Another optional flying phobia treatment is hypnosis. Much like a therapist, a hypnotist will start by helping you get to the origin of your fear. Hypnotherapy can help you begin to associate flying with excitement rather than terror. This technique can also help you visualize yourself enjoying your flight relaxed and in control of your emotions.

There are a lot of mixed opinions around fear of flying hypnosis (and hypnosis in general). I know of people that say it has worked wonders for them, while others have had unsuccessful experiences with the treatment and regard the practice as shady and unreliable. I’m not an expert in this field, so I would recommend more research and discussion with medical professionals if you are considering this option.

Self Treatment 

While professional treatment is certainly beneficial, there are also steps individuals can take on their on to reduce anxiety by harnessing your emotions. This consists of two steps:  

  1. Getting a handle on racing thoughts 
  2. Controlling your breathing
Controlling Racing Thoughts

Fearful fliers suffer a variety of thoughts such as:

  • The plane will crash in mid-air
  • I’m going to die 
  • Once the doors shut, I’ll be trapped in a cramped space
  • I’ll have a panic attack or heart attack

You normally won’t be able to ignore the thoughts or wish them away, so you need a process to deal with them directly. Psychologists recommend  an effective 5 step process to do just that: 

fear of flying tips

Step 1: Identify the Fearful Thought
The fearful thoughts are generally irrational. From the list above, how many of the items on the list are actually likely to happen (other than being in a relatively confined space)?

The answer is none of them. So the first step is realizing that your racing thoughts are irrational and you want to get rid of them.

Step 2: Snap Yourself With a Rubber Band 

You may have heard of this technique to break bad habits, but it also works for the fear of flying. Bring a rubber band with you on the flight. Thicker rubber bands work better because they are sturdier and don’t sting quite as much as thinner ones. Place the band so it is positioned over your palm. When you experience racing thoughts, snap your palm with the rubber band. You’re not looking to maim yourself, you just want a bit of a sting. What’s the point? The sting helps interrupt the racing thoughts.

Step 3: Self Talk

In this step, you are decisively telling yourself to stop thinking the irrational, negative thought. Use a word or short phrase like “Stop!” “Quit it!” or “That’s enough!” You should think these words or phrases, not say them aloud, so that you are not alarming your fellow passengers on the plane. It is helpful to drum up anger to accompany your self talk. It is an important distinction to direct your anger at your fear, not at yourself as a whole. If you are having trouble generating anger, just think of all the problems that being afraid to fly has caused you. This could include missing important events, vacations, jobs, etc.

Step 4: “I Can” Statements

This step is similar to the previous step but the message is the opposite. You want a short self-affirming self statement like, “I can do this!” or “I’ve overcome harder things.” Some people choose to use motivational statements tied to why they want to defeat their apprehension of flying. This could be something like, “I’ll have a great vacation if I can conquer my fear during this flight.” This is not a new tactic—athletes, for example,  use these statements all the time because they are effective. And they can be effective for you as part of your overall fear of flying help strategy!

Step 5: Repeat As Necessary 

Just like any process, these steps take practice. It seems simple, but this method has been used by countless people to control their fears and anxiety when they fly.

For the best fear of flying course, see the Soar program review.

 Controlling Your Breathing

After you’ve got a handle on racing thoughts, it’s time to focus in on the next set of tips—controlling your breathing. When you get anxious or fearful, your breathing gets out of whack; your breaths become faster and more shallow and you may gasp for air. The idea is for you—not your fear—to control your breathing. Psychologists utilize another 5 step plan to address this challenge:

Step 1: Inhale From Your Diaphragm

When you breathe from your diaphragm, your stomach protrudes out. Count three seconds (you can use the old “one thousand one, one thousand two…” method to help you keep a consistent pace).

Step 2: Hold Your Breath 

When you reach the count of three from step 1 above, hold your breath for a count of three.

Step 3: Exhale

Purse your lips and exhale for a count of three. Tightening your lips helps prevent you from exhaling too quickly.

Step 4: Rest 

After you have exhaled, rest without inhaling or exhaling for a three-count.

Step 5: Repeat

Repeat steps one through five for five to seven minutes.

Again, the idea of this this technique is to put you in control of your breathing during the flight. You can practice the techniques while still at the airport. The process will restore your breathing and the rest of your body’s functioning to normal within five to seven minutes. 

Online Courses

If you prefer to address your fears in the privacy of your own home, you might consider an online course. A number of multimedia presentations are available with practical tips and meaningful insight on how to learn to trust the plane and its crew, to cope with anxieties surrounding your perceived lack of control and to calm your episodes of panic.

One of the cons of online courses as a fear of flying treatment is the lack of a personal touch—some simply prefer dealing with someone in person. The SOAR fear of flying program partially addresses this by offering online counseling.

The pros are the relatively inexpensive cost compared to other therapies and the ability to immediately access materials by experts in the specific field of the fear of flying. Click here for an overview of our top recommended courses.


Hopefully I’ve given you some information that will help you with overcoming the fear of flying. There is much more information that you can check out for yourself, including the fear of flying tips, fear of flying help for children, and tips for first time flyers guide. Good luck with everything and happy flying!  For help with non-flying related fears and phobias, visit

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Showing 34 comments
  • Anonymous

    Hi, I have flown almost every year for 7 years but I still get REALLY anxious. It’s mostly in the airport, and I calm down on the plane itself, but then I get really bad panic attacks at any strange noises.

  • Mark

    I would just like to say that I am a bit baffled with the high percentage of fearful flyers (or therefore non-flyers).. why the U.S. airline industry hasn’t made much of any effort to provide help for this. I’ve read there are several programs in the U.K. for fearful flyers, run by the airlines that let groups of people go through a program that includes a final , real flight. I would jump at the chance of something like this, and I’m sure thousands of others would as well. I only know of maybe one or two the programs in the entire U.S. #sad

  • Donna

    I don’t think it is quite accurate to say that fear of flying is “totally irrational.” I think it is completely rational. We are land bound animals, and not physically equipped to be 30,000 feet in the air. We can’t naturally fly like a bird, and we can’t even breathe at that height. An airplane is a manmade object that seemingly defies the laws of gravity, and must have air pumped into it to keep us alive at cruising altitude. Being in the air is an artificial environment for humans, and it is only natural that it causes us anxiety – or even fear. While all the other things you said are true, and are helpful to convince us that flying is mostly safe, it isn’t fair to imply that those of us with flying phobias have no basis for our fears.

    • Darrell Davis

      Thank you Donna for your comment.
      Our aim is to help people reduce their anxiety level regarding air travel.
      While Most fear concerning flying is “irrational” if you base it on factual data such as if person’s main fear is the door coming open during flight, but I certainly understand where you are coming from. And agree that it’s not natural for humans to fly but the same can be said of speeding 80 MPH down the highway, scuba diving, sky diving, or beneath the ocean in a submarine. All of these things would certainly create anxiety for some people.

      No one can say there is zero risk to flying, but the same also applies to all other modes of transportation.
      Eliminating anxiety completely when flying may not be possible every person but I think reducing it to manageable level should be attainable.

      Thanks and let us know if we can help in any way.


  • Vee Robillard

    My problem is, while I understand air travel is safer than car travel, and statistics bear all that out LOGICALLY. My brain still thinks “yes, but there are NO fender benders at 38,000 feet.” We have to put ALL our trust in the people that get you from point A to F.

    We have to trust that our pilot will not have a ’cause’ for which to drive our plane into a mountain or ocean.
    We have to trust that the Air Traffic Controllers are on the ball with their systems and not distracted by Internet Porn (etc. LOL).
    We have to trust that John Q. WannaBe Flyer who just got his Cessna licence, knows to avoid airspace where commercial jets fly.
    We have to trust that our plane’s engines weren’t recently serviced by a union mechanic with a grudge on for management.
    We have to trust that our plane, even though it’s been the air for 30 years, is NOT ready to experience metal fatigue in one of the wing joints which will get me and a lot of other people on the 6 o’clock news, yet only make us a rare statistic.

    See where this is going? 🙂 The endless list of uncontrollable imagination.

    Flying over the Atlantic is a 26 year old 2 engine 767. Wish me luck.

    • Darrell Davis

      Hi Vee,

      So how did you flight over the Atlantic go?

  • Raquel

    I feel extremately anxious and I get really scared anytime I have to fly! I am a frequent international flyier because I live abord.

    Right now, i have a bjg issue flying with low cost airlines. Are low cost airline less safer than the other airlines??

    Also, my anxiety levels rise when I have to flight overnight!!

    Any advice??
    Thank you so much,

  • Ranj Egan

    Hi thanks to Darrell for all his positive comments…am off to Corfu next week and was hopelessly scared, scoured the internet for helpful advice…one course said. whenever do you take a ride without a bump on the road that makes you wobble a bit. or a train ride, are you concerned. No I am not! a plane is a very sturdy piece of machinery designed to do that job. Trust someone else to do the job for a change!

  • Polly

    my biggest fear is hight. How can I overcome that

  • Polly

    my biggest fear is hight. How can I overcome that

  • Sangeeta Gupta

    I want to know how the pilots fly at night and my main fear is the turbulence.

  • Karen preston

    Hi my husband and I have been flying to Spain and greece for the last 17 years he he used to be ok with flying, the last 3 years have been really difficult for him, it starts at the airport he watches for any dodgy looking people that our boarding our flight, when on board he shakes has terrible sweats and if he could would get off the plane, would appreciate any help

  • Alicia

    Hi I’m flying at the end of the week from the uk to Florida so it’s quite a long flight I have a fear of terrorist and a repeat of 9/11 how can I feel more safe about terror? Also you said that if an engine breaks that the plane can fly on one what happens if they both brake?

  • Kieran

    Hello I have a fear of flying and it upset a lot of my life ..I even missed holidays with my kids …I missed the chance to travel for my work ..even the taught of it makes me panic there any hope that I will fly again !!Kieran



  • mimi

    I have a mobid fear of flying. My fear stem from the fact that i have no control when the plannis up therw. I’ve flown a couple of time buy getting better with each trip.

  • Elizabeth

    I am happy to have come across your website. I have been traveling on airplanes since I was 6 months old. I have always enjoyed traveling. After I had children, I developed a fear of flying and to this day, I start to get nervous as soon as I click purchase ticket! I am scheduled to fly from NYC to Florida tomorrow morning and my question is how do airplanes manage in the bitter cold? We are currently under a major arctic blast in NYC and it is supposed to be brutally cold in the morning. Does the extreme cold affect a plane? During take-off, in the air, etc? This is a trip I’ve been trying to take since last month and have rescheduled 3 times. I am thisclose to canceling again and am considering Amtrak. Thank you.

    • Darrell Davis

      Hi Elizabeth. To answer your question, yes, cold weather does affect airplanes. However, you’ll be happy to know that flying in cold weather is quite safe. Airlines have procedures to follow when operating flights during cold weather. This includes deicing the plane, using certain materials that help keep snow, frost and slush from accumulating on the plane during winter conditions and performing special winter maintenance procedures.

      If weather conditions are to the point that flying is unsafe, the flight will be delayed or cancelled. I have personally flown many times during extreme Minnesota winter conditions, and have never experienced any problems other than waiting a few extra minutes for the plane to be deiced. It’s up to you which transportation method you take, but I hope this helps your decision.

      – Darrell Davis

  • Loving mother2013

    Dear Darrell Davis,

    I have a graduation next year September the 20th and i have never flied before in an airplane but i have seen movies with scary things happen and that’s what made me fear of flying like snakes on a plane final destination those movies and ever since then i won’t fly in a airplane but my sister she flown before and she said that it was fun. ANd my cousin her first time flying she said it was ok it was scary and that was her first time flying and she told me once u do it that it is all good afterwards please help how i will over come of first time rider or flyer on an airplane my graduation is in Florida please help. Thank you

  • Diana

    Hi, i have different kind of fears about flying. It`s like i`m afraid that something will happen with me while flying, like getting too high blood pressure, or panic attacks, or something like that. It`s always about health issues, even tho i don’t really have them. What you could suggest me, how to overcome this fear? because i`ll have to fly abroad in a month, but i`m already stressed out.

  • zeenadine

    Hi .

    I was never worried or had fear to fly until sometime back last 7 years back started a fear to fly and specially during turbuelence.

    Have a fear that plan will just fall into the sea and i will be drowned .

    always worried through out journey .

    never had this since childhood but only got it for last 6 years .

    I watch a lot of air crash investigation on nat geo doesnt help me either

  • G

    Hi there wondering if you can offer me some advice. I have developed a massive fear of flying over the last 10 or so years. I have flown several times before (admittedly not for 3 or so years due to f of f ) however I am now unable to fly. I am a 30+ male and I have attended a fear of flying course a few years back and enjoyed the flight however I am now unable to even consider flying without losing appetite / vomiting and becoming completely obsessed by the thought of flying even before we have booked anything. It’s got to the point where I am now on anti ds as I can’t handle the places that it makes me go. Can you suggest any possible therapies (I am going to discuss with my doctor) but just wondered if you could offer any advice. I want to overcome this for work and personal reasons but not sure how best to approach it.

    • Darrell Davis

      Hey G, the good news is that you addressed your fear before and was able to overcome it. It’s not uncommon for a fear to resurface, but if you conquered it once you can do it again!

      Like I’ve mentioned to several others, I think the SOAR program is the best option for people that need a bit more intensive help. Tom Bunn is the President of SOAR. He is an airline Captain and a licensed therapist, so he naturally specializes in helping people overcome their fear of flying. The SOAR program is a proven solution–it was established in 1982–on its own, but Captain Tom is available for personal counseling as well.

      I have spoken to Captain Tom and I know he is passionate about helping people just like you. Click here to visit the SOAR website. From here, you can take advantage of several no-cost resources (such as free group phone counseling on Wednesdays) or look at the paid programs or counseling. Compared to traditional therapy, it is very cost effective.

      Good luck! I hope you will soon be able to enjoy a flight again.

  • Nadir

    My name’s Nadir and I’m 20 years old. I made my mind to enroll in a flight school in Spain next March, but before doing so, I need to seek your advice first, sir.
    My problem is that I have an abnormal fear when I travel by plane, I can’t feel safe anymore, I always imagine that the Aircraft will fall ! Can I really get over my fear of flying and become a successful pilot as I wished, or the domaine of aviation is not for me ? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Darrell Davis

      Hi Nadir, I don’t know you well enough to advise you on your career choice, but I personally believe in following my dreams! And whether or not you decide to pursue aviation,I imagine that you will want to conquer your fear of flying. I would suggest you check out the SOAR program. The President is Tom Bunn, an airline Captain and licensed therapist specializing in dealing with the fear of flying. Since he is a pilot AND a licensed counselor, he is well-equipped to work with people regarding flight anxiety.

      SOAR offers a number of free resources along with counseling with Captain Tom as an additional option. Click here to visit SOAR.

      I wish you the best in overcoming your fear and becoming a pilot. Let me know how things work out for you.

  • Avery

    Wow, this is extremely helpful. I’ve tried breathing techniques and taking my mind off of it, but it never seems to work. I have this habit of never trusting whatever I am on if I cannot directly control it. (Including riding a horse) But knowing the facts and how darn hard it is to become a professional Airline pilot and how driving is actually more dangerous that flying in a commercial Airliner really helps. Thanks for writing this, have a good flight!

    • Darrell Davis

      Thanks Avery! It always makes our day to hear that we helped someone. And by the way, one of our staff just informed me he doesn’t trust horses either, so I guess you’re not alone there 🙂

  • Saleem

    hi.I am also having a lot of fear to fly . I didn’t fly yet,but i must have to fly as to go abroad to give some of my exams I am very much confused! please do advise me on this ,i cannot control my nerveous system while think of flying and this fear is from a long time:(

    • Darrell Davis

      Hi Saleem, since you haven’t flown yet, it will probably help to check out our first time flyer guide. After that, I recommend the free resources from the SOAR fear of flying program. You can access them by clicking here.

  • shrikant

    Hi I am flying from last 6 years as cabin crew. In January 2013 I had experienced severe turbulence due to weather (hailstorms) while landing and since then I get panic and cannot breathe normally during turbulence. This is seriously affecting my work and now I am confused whether to fly or not. Please advise

    • Darrell Davis

      Hi Shrikant. I’m sorry to hear about your difficult experience. My suggestion is to check out the SOAR fear of flying program, developed by Captain Tom Bunn, a former pilot and current licensed counselor. He specializes in the fear of flying. For free group phone counseling, click this link, then click the “resources” tab at the top of the page, then scroll down to group phone counseling. This free session happens every Wednesday at 10 pm Eastern time. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

  • Deidre

    I would like to know about fear of flying after you’ve been involved in an incident. Though the incident was over 20 years ago, my fear is present and isn’t so irrational because, something did happen. (USair flight 105). Any tips are appreciated.

    • Darrell Davis

      Sorry to hear that, Deidre. And you make a good point–while most people’s fear of flying is based on events that haven’t happened, some people, like you, have experienced a scary incident while flying.

      I could say the statistics are even more on your side now, but I doubt that would make you feel any better. I would suggest a counseling session with Captain Tom Bunn. He is the President of SOAR, a leading fear of flying program. Captain Tom is an airline pilot as well as a licensed therapist, making him uniquely qualified to help those with flying anxiety. You can join free group phone counseling sessions every Wednesday night or arrange a personal session.

      To learn more, visit Best wishes and let me know how you are getting along.

      – Darrell & The FlyFright Team

      • Adrian Winstead

        Is there a place somewhere where you can take an actual flight after treatment to see if you can handle it? I flew for more than 30 years with no problem until an auto wreck. After the wreck, I could no longer be in an enclosed space such as an mri or any enclosed space. I went to my flight as normal except when they closed the door. I had to get off because I could not breath. I was hoping to get treatment that includes an actual test flight because I miss flying.

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