The recent tragedy of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 has thrown my phobia of flying back into focus.
What an absolutely horrific and terrifying event it was and my heart goes out to those souls on that plane and their families who now have to deal with the aftermath of the accident.
My stomach turned when I heard the report on the news. I found myself reading the news articles and watching the reports on the telly…bad move.
Many years ago, I attended a fear of flying course which was run by the airline, Virgin. It was brilliant and was a turning point for me in trying to learn to manage the fear.
However, I’m not completely cured and that fear is always there lurking, but I have been able to keep it under control to different degrees since that course, even to the extent where I have been able to enjoy some of my flights (incredible!).
One of the things they advised on the course was not to read, or watch, anything about air crashes. This feeds the fear and provides new images for you to swirl around in your brain and fixate on!
I didn’t take this advice though this time, thinking that it’s fine, I can handle it now, and read the initial reports.
I really shouldn’t have.
I have found my anxiety towards flying has increased again since this accident.
I’ve now made a conscious effort to avoid the current reports about what happened. It won’t do me any good.
I had already clocked the make of the aircraft that was involved in this tragedy, after the first accident with the Lion Air flight 610 back in October last year.
This led me to question whether I wanted to fly SilkAir, when we were planning our last trip, because I knew they flew that type of aircraft. My fear of flying put in another appearance!
So, I’m making an effort to avoid the media coverage, I am putting my trust in the companies that make these aircraft to fix any problems they may have, I am trusting that the pilots would not fly them if they did not feel safe and I am reminding myself about how many flights take off and land safely every single day (this is the one thought that seems to help me the most!).
Will I fly again? Undoubtedly. My wanderlust runs too deep to let me give in to the fear completely.
Will I enjoy it? I don’t know. It will depend a lot on my mental state at the time and how I approach the flight.
Am I sticking my head in the sand? Yes, probably. But if it helps me to get on that aircraft the next time I need to travel, that’s fine with me!
The battle with this fear is a constant and evolving process it seems!
Do you suffer with a fear of flying?
How do you deal with it?
Please let me know!