Aviophobia or Fear of Flying Phobia

First of all I know what people feel when they are afraid of flying. I was afraid, too, but I could get rid of it. Or at least most of it. But let’s take a look at this problem from some points of view:

Fear of flying is a phobia. It is caused by mostly irrational anxiety. It can have quite mild or severe sympthoms. When it is mild, it means the passenger feels stressed or embarassed when he or she has to travel by air. When it comes to a severe type of phobia, people avoid flying or even get a panic attack or physical sickness just by mentioning flying.

What do we feel about flying?

– air is not a natural place for men to be
– it is a closed, small place, I am out of control, I can not do anything when there is a problem and it is even hard to get out in case of emergency
– yes, we all know that statistically the chances of an air crash are lower than that of a car accident. But statistically it is also clear that the chance of surviving an air crash is also lower than surviving a car accident

Fear of flying is in relationship with fear of death, fear of pain, fear of closed places (claustrophobia), fear of height (acrophobia), fear of not being in control, fear of crowds (agoraphobia), fear of flying over water and sometimes people are afraid of terrorism – mostly this is not the real reason of aviophobia – and because mostly people who have any kind of anxiatey and phobia, also have panic attacks, they are afraid of having a panic attack during the flight.

When people with aviophobia think about flying, they have very intense, emotional visualization of bad things happening in an aircraft, they can see pictures of a crash, things they have never experienced. These pictures are created by their imagination.

How can you get rid of your fear?

Well, it will not be easy and you definately have to want it. When I thought about what the worse thing was for me about it, I felt I was not free. Getting rid of fear also means you can become more free both mentally and physically. Physically becasue you will be able to go wherever you want to and you do not have to think about how to avoid flying. And mentally because you can enjoy the beauty of flying – the clowds, the sunset, the landscape.

And now how to get there? If you are just a little bit afraid and you are just a little stressed, simply grab a drink at the airport (not more than 2, because alcohol in the aircraft, where there is higher pressure and less oxygen will make you drunk much faster than it would under normal circumstances).

– You can heal yourself

If you are really afraid, first of all you should think about your own feelings. What is it you are really afraid of? Crowd, closed place, height, death or all these together? If you know what it is you fear, you are one step closer to getting rid of it. The best thing you can do is learn more about aviation – learn about aerodynamics, how planes fly, how they can glide in case their engines stop, learn about in-flight computers and how pilots are trained and you will learn to trust planes and trust pilots. The first time I could get into a cockpit and have a nice talk with the pilots helped me perfectly out from my fear. Especially that moment, when we were in a heavy discussion about a former CEO of Malev and suddenly he grabbed the walkie-talkie and answered the navigation. Even when we talked he could notice he was called by navigation, understood the question and could answer it easily. That was the moment when I understood how normal it is to fly such an aircraft. Since then I have had the opportunity to fly even smaller aircrafts like an old Russian AN-2 or a Cessna 150 and I loved it.

– Medication

It is recommended not to use any medication, because psychoactive medication should be used only by patients who need them regularly.

– Psychotherapy

There is a certain level of anxiety or phobia that you can not treat yourself. In these cases you should visit a shrink, because probably you have been tramutized earlier by either a previous flight or anything else that is even not related to flying, it is just your mind that connects these two. In these cases only regression therapy – hypnosis or relaxation helps you resolve the trauma and positive visualization is also necessary to overcome the irrational part of your anxiety.

I hope I could help you with your problem. If you have further questions, please leave a comment and if I can not answer it, I will get a specialist.

By Szafi

10 Responses to “Aviophobia or Fear of Flying Phobia”

  1. 1 Captain Keith August 27, 2007 at 9:45 pm


    Perhaps we can help you to overcome your fear of flying. Our site has over 150 pages of free help, encouragement and support. We are now the biggest fear of flying help resource in the world. We have videos audio files, text, visual help, and a forum with over 5000 messages of help and guidance.

    We look forward to hearing from you…remember we’re here to help you.


    • 2 Joelle Chammas November 19, 2010 at 11:41 pm

      Hi Keith,

      I have to fly at least twice a year round trips and every time I try not to think about the fear that awaits me. I am so scared of flying and that is affecting my carrier and my personal life. Once I was flying from Rome to Miami in a 747 and suddenly the plane dropped sharply God knows how many feet.. because of an air pocket. I used to fly every 2 months but since this incident I minimized my trips and now every time the plane moves a bit in the air I start to cry and panic and the staff comes to help me. I always feel that this horrible moment will happen again. Flyimg has turned as a nightmare for me. I wish I can find help. I live in Beirut, Lebanon and I’m not sure they give fear of flying courses, I wish there was.

      best regards

    • 3 Shariat September 29, 2012 at 5:58 am

      I appreciate for ur help. Unfortunately,one month before flight, I have to much stress. Next month, I must go to Canada from Manila with Korean airline. I am not really comfortable. I checked korean airline that had accident before. Can I know is this flight safe now or not?

  2. 4 szafi August 28, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Dear Captain Keith,

    thank you for the useful information and again here is the link to the website:

  3. 5 mike piranty September 18, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    This is really interesting! I work with Aerolink in Spain, who are primarily a flight training school. Recently, as an experiment, we set up a facility to introduce people who are afraid of flying to a psychologist and after they have spent time with her, we take them both up in a Katana DV40 (small aircraft). It can obviously be quite traumatic for them, but with the Psychologist alongside them comforting them, helping them with their breathing etc, we have had a lot of success. Personally, I always found flying in a small aircraft much more stressful than the big airliners.

    If you want to see some footage (sorry it´s in Spanish, but you can easily work out what´s going on).

    Go to http://www.aerolink.es/caste/css_miedo1.htm and click on “ver video”.

  4. 6 JP Richards September 21, 2008 at 1:50 am

    I have a 18 minute cure to fear of flying called GoGetter JetSetter.

    If you blog about curing yourself of a fear of flying, I’ll give you the GoGetter JetSetter program for FREE (a $49 value).

    Check it out at:


    For the Love of Living Life to the Fullest,

    JP Richards

    Certified Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner, &
    Creator of GoGetter JetSetter


  5. 7 Rich Pantone January 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I put together a large questions and answers report on the fear off flying with airline personnel, pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, etc. It’s all free, I used to be fearful of flying and was able to overcome it and wanted to give a little back and the contributors to my report were kind enough to participate, here it is:


  6. 8 Sara February 9, 2011 at 4:22 am

    I love travelling and i love flights, but recently on my way to Bahrain from Dubai i felt weird, i felt that i was gasping for air, and it made it harder for me because i have asthma, the problem is i fell asleep and i didn’t feel when the flight took off, so when i woke up, i woke up not even knowing where i was so i felt that i had no way out and ever since i had a problem with flights, so when i came back to london i had to take sleeping pills. But i can’t survive like that. I need help. Please help me.

    Kind Redagrds,
    Miss J

  7. 9 Megan R May 22, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I have to take a flight from PHX to ATL on wednesday, (a flight I have done 10 times, there and back.) I have severe anxiety when I even start to think about the flight. I had trouble breathing and started to tear up just reading some of these comments. The last time I flew I took a Xanex, (the lowest dose available by Dr.) And then passed out of the plane, had trouble breathing. I think that experience has had a severe impact on my thoughts of flying and now I’m absolutely petrified at the thought of my flight. Any help would be greatly apprenticed.

  1. 1 Friday fun - Quote About Fear of Flying « Airline world Trackback on September 28, 2007 at 7:33 pm

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