Remember that as an anxious flyer you will always be in a state of heightened awareness, your senses will be tuned into everything that is going on. It’s hardly surprising that the noises on board will seem to be exaggerated. You should always try to remember that the noises are appropriate to what is going on during that particular stage of your flight.

fear of flying wheels

It’s also true to say that there are so many noises in the course of a flight that you can be forgiven for being alarmed. Because the sounds are unfamiliar and they occur unexpectedly, the anxious flyer will associate them with danger.

  • Unfamiliar noises are perceived by humans as dangerous.
  • Aircraft make noises that are unfamiliar to you (but not to the crew).
  • Noises in flight are normal and are not dangerous.
  • Noises are sounds that you can’t identify.
  • Sounds are noises that you can identify.

On the ground

When you first get on board there will be a background hum from the equipment which is supplying electricity and air-conditioning. The aircraft has its own ground supply of these things from a small engine which is designed to support the plane while it is on the ground but without airport ground supplies connected.

These sounds are perfectly normal so keep reminding yourself of this. It will be useful to acclimatise yourself with sounds by listening to the audio and fear of flying videos on this site at other membership levels. Then when you hear them for real, they won’t seem so intimidating, and you will be taking control of your fear of flying. This is an essential part of your strategy. After the engineer has checked and signed for the aircraft and when the pilot is ready to start the engines, some supplies will be disconnected and you will hear the air-conditioning noises reduce. The modern jet engine takes longer to start than a car engine and you will hear other pieces of electrical equipment stopping or starting and you may see internal cabin lights going on and off. These sights and sounds are unsettling for anxious passengers but they are normal.

These things will happen as each engine is started until they are all running. While taxi-ing you’ll hear the noise of the motors that drive the flaps into position. You may also hear the bumps of the suspension and wheels from uneven taxiways or runways.
You’ll also hear the noise of taxiway lights as the nose wheel passes over them. When you are on a flight and these noises are distracting you, think of the strategythat you have decided to use when this happens.

Airborne noises

Most anxious flyers dread the sound of taking off.  It makes them think that the engines are working too hard and might fail … nothing could be further from the truth. The engines are working well within their maximum power, despite the noise. In flight you’ll hear the change of wind (airflow) noise outside as the aircraft changes speed. You’ll hear the changing engine sounds as the power settings are changed. This will be particularly noticeable during the approach to landing. Try to identify sounds so that they become normal which will reduce your anxiety.

When landing, the thrust reversers will add to the noise level … remember this too is perfectly normal. You can listen to some sounds of  flight by choosing the Premium membership Level.  Do you know why the noise of the engines might suddenly increase after you’ve been flying along at cruising altitude for a long time?  Why does it seem worse at night?

 Our 4 CD set or instant downloadable help will provide you with over 4 hours of help and explanations including full explanations and examples of in-flight noises. This is FREE on Premium Membership

Don’t forget to visit our shop to get the latest and best help available to overcome your fear of flying.

Best wishes,

Captain Keith

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