Thank you for your website. It is extremely helpful.
After 20 years being in the frequent flyers list, I still find that turbulence at 35,000 feet is my main problem.
Is it true that most accidents occur during the take-off and landing? Surprisingly, the take-off and landing phase is the most comfortable and calming part of the flight for me.
I feel the fear is, when we are at 35,000 feet and if the plane shakes suddenly, we are worried that nobody can find us if the plane breaks into two. Whereas if it crashes during the take-off or landing, our bodies can be recovered.
How to overcome this fear feeling?
P.S. Remember one of the top and famous Dutch soccer player would not travel by air with their national team for any matches outside the country. Even in Europe, he would use train to join his team mates. So I think it is a global ‘problem’ - this fear of flight turbulence.
Unfortunately I am not a psychiatrist to help you and your irrational fear about turbulence at high altitude.
It is true that a very high percentage of air accident occurs during the take-off and landing stage and the cruising phase is the least worrying part of flying; yet you feel the most comfortable during this stage of the flight. So the cause of fear can be due to many factors and appears to be subjective.
The two famous soccer players, (Bergkamp, the ‘non-flying Dutchman’ and HSV striker Paolo Guerrero), did consider seeking psychiatric help about fear of flying but I wonder if they did. Nevertheless, extreme cases of aerophobia (flying fears) can be relieved or cured by some fear of flying clinics. It is all up to the subject.
You can read two articles, written by a local journalist (Louisa Lim) who interviewed me regarding this subject and also another clinical psychologist who talks about systematic desensitisation here and here
PS. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my new Twitter at @CaptKHLim