Article List

Posted on: May 24th, 2012 by


Suzie Goes on an Aeroplane by admin - 07-14-2017
Bought to our attention by our friends at Virgin's Flying Without Fear course in the UK, children's author Charlotte Olson has written a beaut kid's book aimed at helping ease the fear of young children about to go on their first flight. "Suzie
Dynamic Stability & Turbulence by admin - 08-16-2016
One of the interesting things I have learned about aviation over the years is of the "stability" of an aircraft in turbulence... It is not a "static" stability (like a three legged table sitting on firm ground... the table will not move at all).
The Amazing Jet Engine by admin - 11-28-2014
You might enjoy this promo video from a jet engine manufacturer, showing some of the certification testing they must do before their engines are allowed on an airliner. I hadn't seen this one before... I found particularly interesting the water
Better Flying Audio by admin - 05-20-2014
Some audio resources that may be of interest... Dragons of Thin Air audio promo (2013) An entertaining and relaxing discussion which aired in late 2013 on the fabulous Xtended Aviation Podcast in the UK. Bear in mind that the audience for this
Deep Breathing Exercises by admin - 05-20-2014
The body and mind are linked! Who'd have thought? We've all experienced physical symptoms when anxious or stressed... symptoms like rapid shallow breathing, quickened pulse, sweaty clammy hands, queasy guts... and so on. Many of these symptoms
How Many People Are Afraid To Fly? by admin - 04-09-2014
A commonly quoted "statistic" is that 1-in-4 people are afraid to fly. Given that 78 percent of all statistics are made up, where does this "1-in-4" number come from? Respectable research on Fear of Flying numbers is hard to come by and, in that
What I learned from going blind in space by admin - 03-24-2014
Astronaut Chris Hadfield, recently returned from a 6-month stint on the International Space Station, gives a TED talk in which he discusses fear and one way to overcome it.  Rather than pretend risk doesn't exist, in a very personal story Chris
Turb Tales: Wake Turbulence by admin - 03-02-2014
Have you ever felt, on an otherwise smooth flight, an unexpected jolt of turbulence completely out of the blue?  It does happen from time to time, and for some anxious flyers this unexplained event can set their mind a-racing. A deep breath, a
Turb Tales: An Introduction by admin - 01-30-2014
It probably comes as no surprise that turbulence is the single most common thing that disturbs anxious flyers.  I thought it might be helpful to run through a discussion about "the dreaded turb".  There is a fair bit to talk about, so I'm going to
What Happens if an Engine Fails? by admin - 01-16-2014
A discussion on a Fear of Flying forum upon which I occasionally post raised a very interesting conversation regarding engine failures in airliners. The person who raised it had been on a flight which had an engine failure, resulting in engine parts
A Confession by admin - 10-29-2013
As some of you may know, despite my part-time job as a Fear Dragon, I am also an airline pilot with some 20 years experience. Despite my consummate skill at this craft I must share with you a dark secret... sometimes a"smooth" landing is not as
The Crystal Car by admin - 06-23-2013
Many people with Fear of Flying are disturbed by turbulence far more than they would be by similar bumps felt when driving their car, or travelling by bus.  This is all about familiarity and faith in the machine you are driving.   Here's a little
Bear Grylls Safety Video by admin - 04-02-2013
Another fine safety video from Air New Zealand! Don't forget to take a raw fish with you next time you fly with them! Well, Air New Zealand have done it again! I love safety videos that convey information but don't make you think about bad stuff
How Airplanes Fly by admin - 11-22-2012
Here's a fabulous video made by the FAA back in the 60's called "How Airplanes Fly". It's about 18 minutes long and includes a discussion of stalls (including some wind-tunnel smoke video so you can see what the air is doing). It's not just about
Flying in Winter by admin - 11-08-2012
Airplanes have been flying in winter conditions for 100+ years, and we have learned how to do it safely. In theory, ice on the wing does cause problems in the generation of lift (the rough surface of the wing causes airflow separation earlier
Hobbit Safety Video by admin - 11-05-2012
I've seen lots of airline safety videos and safety briefings in my time, and most are boring.  You're nuts if you don't watch, though, as you never know when a little titbit of information will come in handy. Not everyone likes watching the
Ears and Tears - Ear Pain When You Fly by admin - 06-26-2012
  Being in good health when you fly will give you the best chance of enjoying (!) your flight, or at least making at stress free as possible.  It seems to me, however, that "fitness to fly" is often a topic placed too far down the list
Thunderstorms by admin - 05-31-2012
Rest assured, your pilots are no stranger to bad weather. While you might work in a factory, or in an office, pilots work in the sky and they study it's characteristics every time they fly. I'll tell you that, generally speaking, thunderstorms are
Safety Demonstration by admin - 05-26-2012
Once the doors are shut your flight attendants will give a safety demonstration and/or there will be a video shown showing the important safety briefing. DO NOT SKIMP ON THIS! It is amazing how many people ignore this briefing. And, dear FoF
Flight Over High Terrain by admin - 05-24-2012
As we approach Turkmenistan and the high country of Afghanistan the sun has risen (such a short night when heading west-to-east!). I peek out one of the blinds at the dry landscape below, and look down in wonder as the earthly tapestry slowly passes
Fear of Flying Long Haul by admin - 05-18-2012
  Do you want to know what it feels like to fly half way around the world?  Do you want to share the journey with others who understand what it is to be afraid to fly?  Do you want to learn some great stuff about airline operations and how
Preflight Planning - What Are Your Pilots Doing? by admin - 05-16-2012
Here's a post I made on the Taking Flight fear of flying forum discussing what the pilots would be doing prior to departure on an imaginary MIAMI to LONDON HEATHROW flight.  While you are going through the unique pleasures of security, immigration,
Situational Awareness - Where Is My Passport? by admin - 05-15-2012
The folks on the Taking Flight Fear of Flying support forum are conducting an interesting experiment, going on a simulated flight from the US to Australia, as a tool to explore some of their Fear of Flying issues and anxieties, and practice
What's That "Dip" after Takeoff? by admin - 05-03-2012
Some people with fear of flying comment on a feeling after the plane takes-off of dropping, or descending.  This feeling can be disconcerting if you just listen to the (deceptive) physical sensations... it CAN feel like you are dropping, even though
Fear of Flying: Feeling Acceleration by admin - 05-01-2012
  A common question from people when they fly is why they feel what they do.  I'll talk about some of the specific feelings you will experience in another post, but I thought you might be interested in the science behind why you feel these
Fear of Flying in Rain by admin - 04-27-2012
Some people have a particular fear of flying in rain, and some days rain can be widespread.  This can leading to a particular feeling of dread  should the forecast for the day of your flight be a little ornery.  Here's a few thoughts on the topic of
Fear of Flying eBook! by admin - 04-19-2012
  For those who have requested it, we’ve finally got around to producing an eBook version of Dragons of Thin Air! While eBooks do have some formatting issues (every screen is different, with different font sizes, for example), one
Engine Failure by admin - 04-10-2012
The boys from Virgin Atlantic's Flying Without Fear course are running an excellent series of blog posts on the Top 10 Fears for Fear of Flying, and they added a very readable post on one of those fears... engine failure.  Well worth a look (as are
Inside a Flight Simulator by admin - 03-16-2012
The amazing redundant design of a modern airliner means that various components can fail and the aircraft (and it's occupants!) remain perfectly safe.  This is completely not like your car or your lawnmower... in those things it only takes one part
Fear of Flying: Going Solo by admin - 02-27-2012
Many people with a fear of flying can, and do, tackle that fear and board an airliner again.  With help, training, support and encouragement people can, and do, take to the skies.  But do they keep flying afterwards?  Not always. Sadly much of
Inflight Explanation Video by admin - 02-14-2012
The folks at Virgin Atlantic's Flying Without Fear in the UK have made available a couple of  videos that take you through a short flight, explaining what is happening and some of the noises you will hear and physical sensations you will feel. If
How Does The Wing Work? by admin - 02-12-2012
You'd think, after more than 100 years of powered flight, and many more years than that if you count human experiments with gliders, that there would be no debate about exactly how an aircraft wing works. Yet the debate continues! Before you get
About the Boring Flight Sim by admin - 01-29-2012
In my last post I introduced the Boring Flight Simulator, which was nothing more than a random number generator, aimed at giving some hands-on experience with the odds and statistics of air travel. Many fearful flyers consider knowledge of
The Odds of a Boring Flight by admin - 01-28-2012
If you have a fear of flying you have heard people tell you how safe air travel is... safer than driving a car, safer than staying at home patting the cat, safer than blah blah blah... You'll also hear, from time to time, the odds of something
Pilots in the Modern World by admin - 01-22-2012
A question was recently raised on the Get On The Plane fear of flying support forum regarding the role of the pilot in ensuring safety in the modern world of cost cutting... Here is my reply:   It is a fact that airlines, like most other
What Others Say About "Dragons of Thin Air" by admin - 01-22-2012
Here's some comments and links to reviews from people who've read Dragons of Thin Air. If you'd like to leave a comment about Dragons of Thin Air to help out anyone who might be considering buying the book... This is the place! If you liked
A Force Field Around Your Plane by admin - 01-17-2012
Some people who are fearful flyers are concerned about mid-air collisions.  In the early days of air transport there were some of these ugly events but, like every other time something bad has happened in aviation, these events were the impetus to
Smoke in the Engine? by admin - 01-16-2012
Following from our previous discussion on contrails, Helen on the Taking Flight fear of flying support forum asked about what looked like smoke in the front of a jet engine at takeoff, and posted an interesting video from Youtube.  Here's the video,
What is a "Contrail?" by admin - 01-14-2012
  A contrail is a series of clues that lead the police to catch a criminal. Actually, that's not the only answer.  Contrails are the trails behind aircraft that look like smoke but are really just water vapour.  Here's a post I made on the
It's A Sign by admin - 01-12-2012
Isn't it interesting how easily the human mind can seek and find evidence to support what it already believes rather than looking for alternate explanations. Some people seem to be on the lookout for "signs" more than others, and will find them
Flight Tracking by admin - 01-09-2012
There are some great online resources available these days for following flights in the air, while you are on the ground. Whether it's just keeping an eye on the whereabouts of a flying friend, or just watching the skies with interest, these
Resources by admin - 01-09-2012
There are some very cool information sources available on the web that you may find useful, reassuring and/or entertaining...   Flight
Flight Tracking by admin - 01-09-2012
Air Traffic: [geocity], [geocountry] This display is provided courtesy of the PlaneFinder.net website, a free service which displays aircraft positions based on ADS-B broadcasts by aircraft (Wikipedia link). Not all aircraft positions are shown
Statistics by admin - 12-28-2011
Numbers are funny things, and I'm convinced that most of us don't really know what they mean. Sure, we know the basics... 1 plus 1 equals 2, etc., but we have no idea about the big stuff. I'm talking about the REALLY BIG numbers that are
Looking for the eBook? by admin - 12-24-2011
For a time we had a pre-release preview PDF version of Dragons of Thin Air available as a free download, seeking feedback from readers to help us refine the book before going to print. Since the book went to print we have removed that PDF version
Look Inside the Book! by admin - 12-21-2011
At our request, Amazon have activated their "Look Inside" feature for Dragons of Thin Air - A Most Unusual Fear of Flying Course. If you would like to take a peek between the covers and see what a truly unusual treatment of Fear of Flying this
Our Book is in Print! by admin - 12-18-2011
After a year of gathering feedback on the pre-release digital edition of Dragons of Thin Air, at long last the book is available in print!  Clicking the book image at the left of the screen will take you to our printer's order page or, if you
Contact Us by admin - 12-18-2011
  We'd love your feedback on how you found Dragons of Thin Air and if, and how, it helped