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Fear of Flying. A warning.

I have just been reading a website that claims to be able to cure your fear of flying, cure your smoking habit and do a number of other miraculous things for you.

The information is presented in a way that seems credible. But to my senses as an experienced pilot is best described as utter rubbish.

For instance there was a simple claim to see the beauty of a sunset when flying west…that is the way you look to see the sunset when you’re on the ground…in a plane you need to be flying very very roughly North or South so that you can see out of the window towards the sunset…only the view from the flight deck going westwards will let you see the sunset. A claim to have seen flames pouring from the engine is quite improbable…rarely do flames from an engine indicate a fire…in fact if you get flames from anywhere you’d want them from the place they should be coming from, and out the back of the engine is the safest place to see them.

An engine fire, in the sense that a pilot would need to deal with it, is unlikely to be visible to the passengers, and is usually an overheat, not a fire in terms of flames. I can not stress how strongly I feel about your need to disregard this sort of non sense. It is presumably designed to give credibility to the author and startle the reader. There are no miracle cures in overcoming a fear of flying. Flying is not dramatic and as an experienced pilot I can spot a frauds and their Hollywood talk a mile away, but of course it will be difficult for you to do so.

Doctors use doctors’ talk, plumbers use plumbers talk, but charlatans talk like experts and there’s the danger.

Helping you to overcome your fear of flying is our aim. We do it quietly and I hope modestly, but it means that that we don’t have headlines, we don’t claim that we know all the answers and certainly we do not make claims for your likely success other than by your own efforts. If you see a a statement that you’re not sure about contact me and I’ll give you my opinion on it. I subscribed to a free email newsletter recently and receive regular ‘Hints and Tips’ and I have to say that the claims and descriptions are ludicrous. The facts are often incorrect, information is out of context and would fool only people who have put their trust into these people in the hope of overcoming their fear.

How does such information help anyone to overcome a fear of flying? It is outrageous that such advice should be uncontrolled. At the next World Fear of Flying conference there it is highly likely that there will be a form of accreditation introduced and not before time in my opinion.

Captain Keith Godfrey.

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