Monday, 06 July 2009 13:30
Dear Captain Lim,
My absolute respect to you as a Captain and for this wonderful website which I've been reading during my entire weekend.
I am European and I am flying every summer to London, Italy, France and then get a connecting flight to my country in Bulgaria. Also, twice a year, I fly LAX to JFK or LGA to see my best friend.
Always, love, love, love flying and have never ever have been afraid until this summer when Air France went down the ocean in mid air and this still remains a mystery which scares me even more.
A month ago, two weeks after the AF terrible accident, when I flew LAX to JFK, the flight was great. Then JFK to LHR, six and a half hours over the Atlantic, I was mostly afraid of turbulence (something that has never bothered me before) and four hours into the flight, my fear...a bad turbulence, the Captain said: "Captain is speaking, please crew members, take your seats".
The plane was very shaky in my opinion as compared to all the flights I had. That was the strongest I've experienced or maybe I was just too scared and have read too much about the AF hypothesis where everyone mentioned weather and turbulence as the cause.
My questions is, would you recommend something specific I can read, even here on your site where flying will be such a pleasure as I always remember. Also, if a bad turbulence happens when I am in flight or over the water, how can I calm myself down?
Thank you so much,
All my compliments to you,
Snezhana Hristova Flynn
Thank you for the compliments. I have answered many questions on turbulence under here and here. Also, there are numerous books as well as 'Fear of Flying' websites that cover this topic – too numerous for me to recommend any specific ones. Most are generally good. The important thing is to equip yourself with the knowledge that pilots are aware that turbulence is uncomfortable to their passengers and would do their utmost to avoid them.
I do not wish to repeat myself in answering your question as it may be boring to some. Suffice to say, turbulence is generally an issue of discomfort rather than one of safety. Before someone jump on me by quoting that turbulence had caused the Air France Airbus A330 to crash, my humble opinion is that it was something else; more likely icings on the speed sensor probes (pitot). Yes, most aircraft can withstand the worst of the weather unless it was aggravated by failure of some other sensitive instruments.
My answer to the discomfort of turbulence in one magazine is to pretend that you are on a roller-coaster ride! Sometimes you just can’t help but ride through it! Rest assured that you are in the safe hands of the pilot who treasure his life just as much as you treasure yours!
I wish you a safe and comfortable flight in your next journey!