Through the years many people on our courses have asked why they get ‘funny sensations’ in flight

Well It’s nothing you shouldn’t be feeling, in fact it’s perfectly normal to be unsure of what the plane is doing. Pilots learning to fly by instruments are told to ignore their sensations and believe what the instruments are showing…NOT what they are feeling. The effect of suddenly changing position from nose down to nose up plus an increase of speed can make the pilot feel that the nose is going too high or too low. It’s the same feeling that you get when your car is in ‘cruise control’ and you go up or down hill … you get a distinct impression of gaining or losing speed. This is something that is useful for fearful flyers to know about because it accounts for stories about too fast, too slow, too steep and so on. From a passengers point of view you just can’t know what the plane is doing.! One of the things we talk about on our fear of flying courses is the experience of feeling level while the plane is banked during a turn. Or why you think the plane is going down while it’s still going up!

When you know why you get these feelings it shouldn’t seem half as strange. It’s the same as slowing down or speeding up you’ll think you’re going up or down.

That’s why the flight Deck has such reliable equipment (and lots of back ups) to show the pilot exactly the ‘Attitude’ of the plane. Nose up or down, wings level or turning.

Unfortunately it would be too expensive to fit instruments into the seat back in front of you so you’ll have to rely on the pilots!

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