Many people feed their fear of flying because they think that flying a jet plane is difficult and demanding. By understanding that it isn’t really like that …  you’ll see that flying doesn’t hold as many fears as you believe.

Flying around

Just flying along, at the controls of a modern in a jet airliner feels nice, there’s a speed range of 130 to 600 miles an hour. It climbs and descends quickly and goes around corners easily. In fact, it feels just as you’d think. Most people find the controls a little stiffer than they’d imagine but a lot more sensitive … sounds wrong, doesn’t it? Yes, they are  ‘heavy’ to move, but when you do move them the plane responds immediately and moves a long way for a small change of  ‘steering wheel’ movement. It’s like driving a lorry with the precision of Ferrari steering.
At first you’d find it hard to hold a steady height because with so much energy the smallest of movements will take the plane up or down … but when you know how to fly, there’s a device you can set that means you can let go of the controls and the plane will continue what it was doing. It feels like a lorry and handles like a sports car. 


Taking off

Taking off, despite what you may think, is a very straightforward procedure.  Most anxious travelers believe that the plane is right on the edge of what it can do, but in fact, every take-off is well within a plane’s capability, and what’s more for, those who worry about the engines … they are NOT not straining. 
There is a complete description and four videos of taking off available our Premium membership Level. We do our take-off checks, line up on the runway and then press the thrust switch and the engines increase power until they reach the correct amount for taking off.  We, the pilots, keep the plane pointing along the runway by using the rudder and then when we’re going fast enough (Vr)  we raise the nose … and off she flies! No nail-biting drama, no hanging on to the controls, no Hollywood style ‘willing the old bird into the sky’, no squeezing the ‘last drop of power’ out of an unwilling engine. A simple, straightforward, well rehearsed, standard procedure.  There’s a detailed description of taking off and a commentary from the flight deck on our Fear of  Flying Audio CD set. (Also available on Premium Level Membership)


Landing is simply allowing the plane to lose speed as it gets closer to the runway. We trade speed for lift. A wing gets more lifting force when it goes faster. It also gets more lift when it’s flying with its nose up (but not going up). It gets more lifting force if the flaps are extended. So to land we slow down put the flaps down put the wheels down and when we’re a few feet above the runway reduce the power to nothing raise the nose to a set position and allow the plane to touch down. A simple, straightforward, well practiced, standard procedure. 

Emergencies/ Non -Normals

The first thing to say is that things rarely go wrong. In my airline career, I never suffered a serious malfunction. And as a young instructor, the only thing that happened to me was an intermittent engine problem … so I landed in a field. (My claim to fame is that the guest who arrived before I did, and I’m sure his arrival was much more dignified, was  Sir Yehudi Menuhin the violinist.  (I was invited to sign the farmer’s visitors book just below Mr. Menuen’s entry).

When malfunctions occur in a plane they are simple to deal with and the airline’s procedures determine who flies the plane and who carries out the checklist. Modern aircraft have electronically displayed checklists and until the actions are completed they stay visible on the navigation screens. Every system on a plane is duplicated or triplicated so most procedures involve turning the faulty system off and replacing it with a backup system. People who have flown the simulator with me are always amazed to find how simple it is to control the aircraft even with an engine not working.

Best wishes,

Captain Keith

Need More Help to Treat Your Fear?



Access the worlds first and most comprehensive fear of flying help course

Including 60 help videos, hundreds of help articles, downloadable help, personal advice from our team,

unique support network, practice flight bookings and personal help relating to you flight...

Call Us: +44 (0) 1420 588 628

- Buy Course - Learn more
- - -

Shopping Basket

You have 0 items in your cart

Your shopping cart is empty!
Visit our shop