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How Can I Get Over My Fear Of Flying – Had A Near Death Experience Last Year?

3/4 of my entended and immediate family live in Florida and so to see them I have taken Southwest Air. March of 05, we had wind sheer, with gusts in excess of 65 mph. About and hour into the flight from Orlando to MacArthur Airport on Long Island NY we experienced what started as severe turbulence, went to total lift characteristic failure and a plunge of say 5-10k before the pilot was able to recover, had to touch-and-go landing and taking off again (because of the severe sheer-crosswind he has to come in faster than normal to maintain lift). At this point the pilot says we dont have enough gas to try landing anywhere else so he is forced to try and land here. He did and let me just say:
1) A school teacher told her rowdy kids to bow their heads and pray when the plane was plunging. You could have heard a pin drop if not for the noise of the engines.
2) The pilot couldnt look the passengers in the eye when exiting the aircraft.
A near death experience. How do I overcome?


  1. First quit telling yourself it was a near-death experience, it wasn’t.
    You are a victim of the “be afraid of everything” program of modern politics.
    A rough landing or flight just seems worse because the airlines take so much care to give you a smooth flight.
    Sounds like the teacher was a fool.

  2. First off it was not quite a near death incident. It was a case of bad weather. I survived an airplane crash at Miami Intrnational in the mid 80`s. We crashed when our landing gear would not come down. As for the pilot, he probably couldn`t look you in the eye because he didn`t want you to see how upset he was. He could have even be crying once they landed, he is only human with emotions also. Your best bet is to get on another flight soon, even if its a small single engine plane at a local airfield. The longer you wait the harder it will be. Good Luck. By the way I still fly as often as I can.

  3. Calm down. It was frightening, I’m sure, but you’re alive and the chances of it happening again to you are slim to nil. The school teacher was probably some terrified young thing who didn’t know what else to do. And the pilot was most likely overcome with emotion…and perhaps embarrassed. How would you feel if you were driving a hundred people through the sky and your plane hit a bump, scaring everyone half out of their wits? 😉
    Did you know that even if one jumbo jet crashed every day for a year in the US, the annual fatality rate of air travel would still be far less than it would be for cars?
    Get back on a plane…don’t let fear parylize you. You can do it!

  4. From someone who has been on more than 80 flights including military planes and jumped out of a single engine Airplane before I would say be happy your still alive, and dont let this new found fear control your life. Fear is not a bad thing it keeps you alive. Just keep in mind risk your life every time you get in your car but you may only fly a few times a year. So think about your greater odds of an incident. Its ok to be afraid of flying just dont let it stop you!

  5. I find a lot of of very strange things about your story that leads me to thinking you are exagerating a great deal of it. The pilot of a commercial plane would never say over the loudspeaker that he is low on gas. Planes do not use “gas”. Pilots always say “fuel”. They also would never announce it to the passengers. If your story was true, the pilot would have instructed the flight attendants to have the passengers prepare for an emergency landing by assuming the crash position as shown on the emergency card in the seat pockets.
    If you really have psyched yourself into believing your own story, my advice to you is to see a professional mental health advisor. They can sometimes help a person get over a phobia like yours.
    You can also be like John Madden and refuse to fly and take the bus or train. Both busses and trains go to Florida from New York.

  6. What you should do is go to the local airport, find a flight school and present your problem to the chief pilot, pay $150 and have this highly experianced quallified person stick your butt in the pilot seat and make you fly a plane for an hour. One of two things will happen. 1) you’ll gain buckets of confidence or 2) you’ll cry like a baby and likely vomit.


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