Monday, January 02, 2006

Yes, I have a fear of flying!

I used to love to fly on an airplane when going out of town. In fact, as a child I wanted to be a flight attendant when I grew up. It seems that as of the more recent years, I have become scared of flying. I am not exactly sure why, maybe years of movies about airplane crashes, or maybe it is just simply that I have absolutely no control as a passenger of an aircraft.
Regardless of why, the bottom line is that I am nervous about flying.

In the not too distant past, I was going to Florida to spend a week during Thanksgiving with my parents, in which I was to fly. Now this was not the first time I had flown, not the second or third either. I have flown many times in the past, but it just seems different now. As the time got closer and closer, I became more and more nervous about it. My father then told me, that he was going to be in Birmingham the weekend before my trip, so we could fly back to Florida together. That was a little comforting, but he has flown his whole adult life, traveling for his job almost every week. He was immune to it. He is the complete opposite of being nervous when flying. He can fall asleep the second the airplane begins to taxi down the runway.
Now, I know it must seem silly to most of you, thinking "why is she so nervous about flying; it is safer than driving a car; there is more of a chance of someone being hit by a bus, or whatever the statistics are....”
Well, I just cannot help it.

So, the day we were to fly out, dad and I were enjoying brunch at the country club with my sister, her family and my boyfriend. Then dad announces..."I have a surprise for you!" Then he said, "We are not flying commercial, we are flying on the corporate plane!" (Notice I did not say the corporate JET, but PLANE.) I think my face lost all color, and I became as white as a ghost (so to speak). My heart starting racing and I felt as if I was going to be sick.
Then my little niece could see the fear in my eyes and asked "Are you scared? I am sure you won't crash."
Ok, that made me feel better!!!
I couldn't even respond as no words could get past the huge lump in my throat.
Boyfriend reached over, grabbed my hand and just looked at me with his big dimple faced smile. Then he spoke the words I could not even force out...."she is terrified". Of course, my dad then started saying how much better it is because there is no airport hassle, and it is a direct flight instead of having to reconnect in Atlanta (which by the way is a nightmare of airports).
Sorry, I was still not convinced, but I talked myself into calming down.

After brunch, boyfriend drove dad and me to the little airport where the little plane was.
When I say little plane, I am not kidding....4 seater!
Once we were inside the airport, dad introduced me to the pilots (a young man, well probably my age, and a woman ~ neither were dressed in a uniform).
Uh, wait a minute....shouldn't they at least be wearing the uniform that has the little stripes on their shoulders and, I don't know, maybe some wings on their chest or something?

Okay, my stress level has reached an all time high at this point. I excuse myself to ladies room. When I return, the pilots...yes the pilots, are loading the suitcases on the plane.
Dad and I will have the whole plane to ourselves, all 4 seats!

With tears in my eyes, I go over to boyfriend; he puts his arms around me, kisses me on the forehead, leans over and whispers....."Can I have your computer?"
At least he made me laugh!
As we settled in our seats on the plane, the pilots went over the safety procedures and then told us where the cold drinks and snacks were.
Ok, here we go, the plane is far, ok!
‘Hmmmmm.....I can still see the pilots, and the entire cockpit!’
I am actually watching them fly this plane. For a minute I am in complete amazement and forgot that I was petrified, but that only lasted for a minute.
I was clinching my hands on the armrests. We were building up speed, and about to take off. I look across the aisle (all 2 feet of it) and my dad is asleep!
So, now I am all alone in this plane....up up up we go.
Oh my goodness!
Ok, it's not too bad, pretty calm actually! I started to relax a bit. Then it was just amazing. The sun was peeking through the clouds below us.
WOW, clouds below us!
It turned out to be one of the best experiences I have ever had. It was better than the commercial flight, smooth, direct and no airport hassle. I even took pictures while up in the clouds.

I won't say that I am not afraid of flying anymore, but I do think that experience has helped.


Charles (Jiggs' Member) said...

Happy New Year!

jiggs said...

I've never flown on a plane like that. But I can see how it would be freaky. I don't like those little jets that fly you from places like Dallas to Little Rock. And those hold 50 people.

Lee Ann said...

Hey Charles! What's up? ;)
Happy New Year to you too!

Jiggs ~ Unfortunately, I am just as afraid to fly on the big jets too! This phobia type thing has only developed in the past few years (maybe because I don't fly as much anymore, I am really not sure).
Oh, I have flown on the little planes from the Orlando airport before.
The smallest plane I flew on before this one had about 18 seats. I guess I am just a baby!

I had a picture for you but I could not figure out how to save it on the web, and link it for you to view :(

hotboy said...

Any sane person who's ever worked with men making things should be terrified of flying. You have to trust hundreds of people to have done their jobs. Also, all compounded things are subject to dissolution. Also, you might be alive for a long time in the air before you hit the ground. I watched Armageddon last night and I'm not going on one of those space shuttle jobs either! Hotboy

Gary said...

A four seater is the first plane I ever flew in, and as far as I'm concerned, it was the best.

awaterpixie said...

My last flying experience was terrifying enough that American Airlines gave all the passengers on the flight $250 vouchers as an apology... that's all I'm going to say or I'll have nightmares for a week!


Edge said...

I love to fly, but I draw the line at anything with a propellor. Won't do it. I get too sick and have too many getting sick experiences. Good for you confronting your fears!


Lee Ann said...

Hotboy ~ I know I wouldn't be ready for a space steps, baby steps! I saw that movie, Armageddon. It is a good one.

Gary ~ Hey! Thank you for stopping by. It was definitely an experience. I used to be almost fearless, but as time goes on that seems to diminish! I hope to see you over here more often.

Mara ~ OMG! I am sorry you went through that, but I am glad you didn't tell the story. I would have nightmares too. Maybe you should catch a flight on a little plane, it may be better for you than a commercial flight.

Jef ~ That is exactly what I thought when I saw the plane. I doubt very seriously if I could have faced it completely by myself.

Saur♥Kraut said...

You poor baby. I've never particularly had a fear of it, but it makes a lot more sense than many other phobias. After all, you are up high, at the mercy of a pilot, in a heavy metal airplane. And I've been in worse tin cans, too, such as the puddlejumpers between here and Miami (I used to fly down there a lot for business).

But, you handled it admirably and bravely and to the best of your ability, and that's all anyone can expect, right?

BTW, I love your music idea, so I stole it shamelessly. ;o)

Lee Ann said...

Saur ~ Thank you. I know I handled it that time, but I feel sure the next time I will experience the same feeling :(
I love the music too, I stole it shamelessly from someone else!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I love flying in planes, but it's the hassle checking in and leaving the airport.

SimonT said...

I was terrified of flying and I still have a fear of heights. I got over it by buying myself a paraglider and learning to fly myself. It was an awesome experience that I want to do again sometime soon. Thanks for doing the download on my blog and leaving such a sweet comment. So glad you like the song.

Lee Ann said...

jean-luc ~ Hey! Thank you for stopping by. That is exactly why my dad likes flying on those little planes, absolutely no airport hassle! I hope you will come by more often.

Simon ~ Wow, paragliding! I imagine that would be an awesome feeling if you can get past the fear. Simon, I am sure you have more girl fans than you know what to do with, but you really are a true talent. Thanks for stopping over.

Bathroom Hippo said...

Can't fly. Terror Watch List.

Hippos aren't allowed. Stink too bad.

Gary said...

I've developed a recent fear of flying too. I used to fly a lot for work, but not in the past 5 years. Recently flew to London via Dallas and didn't look out of the window once. Also, didn't much like going to bathroom with the rear of the plane moving around so much.. No, I'm an earthling. I like to be on the ground.

jiggs said...

About the pic: It's the sentiment that counts, yo! If you still want me to see the pic, you can email it to me or do whatever whenever it's convenient for ya.

I've been flying my whole life, but I don't think I would like sitting on an 18 seater plane. I also don't like busses though, so maybe it's because of that.

Lee Ann said...

Hippo ~ I am sorry! Not about you not being able to fly, but the stinky part! ;)
You don't look like you would stink.

Gary ~ I completely understand what you are saying. I usually have to look around me and convince myself since everyone else is taking a chance and are so calm, that I should be too.

Jiggs ~ Don't laugh when you get it. Check your email :)
Oh, I don't care for busses either.

jiggs said...

Thanks so much for the pic, Lee Ann. I liked it a lot because the idea was clever. If I have time tonight, I'll see if I can pick up where you left off. If I can get it to work, you'll be the first to know :)

Lee Ann said...

Jiggs ~ I am glad you liked it. haha
One day I will be proficient with photoshop!

Clinton P. Desveaux said...

The best way to get over flying is to join the Mile High Club, it makes you smile everytime...

Dave Morris said...

The little planes always make people more nervous, although I'm pretty sure you're more likely to survive a crash in one.

Ah, who am I fooling. You're going to die if you crash, regardless of the equipment. But I love flying, and I've done the skydiving thing, so I'm not really afraid of any of it these days.

Lee Ann said...

Clinton ~ Haha, the mile high club, eh? Sounds like a good idea. Something else would take your mind off of the flight ;)

Dave ~ Oh, thanks for the incentive! ;) Skydiving....I just couldn't do it. The biggest thing I have ever done in a sort of free fall type thing, is when I was younger. I was on the swim team, and we all dove off of the 10 meter platform at one of the swim meets. I am just not that fearless any more.....maybe tandem would work ok for me! ;)

AndyW said...

I still don't like flying very much but I always force myself to sit by the window. That way I can see everything going on. I have no control but it feels like I have some knowledge of what's going on outside

Lee Ann said...

Andy ~ Hey! Thank you for stopping by. I am just the opposite. I saw a special on television once on what to do when an airplane crashes. It showed how imperative it is to move very quickly. I actually love the view, but have more comfort in the aisle seat. I hope you will come by more often.

robmcj said...

Good pictures, and the black template sets them off well.

I'm with you - the smaller the plane, the more nervous I am. The first time I visited Australia, some people asked me to spend the weekend at their farm. It turned out the farm was 1000 miles away, and we had to fly there in their 4-seater plane, flown by the farmer. I had to sit in the co-pilot seat, and once we were airborne, he asked if I had ever flown a plane. I joked that I had used Microsoft flight simulator. "That'll do" he said, and insisted I take over the controls while he made us a cup of tea. That could never happen in Scotland, or if it did we'd have ended up in jail.

I hope 2006 is going well for you so far.

boo said...

glad it all turned out well. those are bootiful pics out the window :)

Kay Ray said...

I am deathly affraid of flying.. one time I went to Lake Tahoe and I was so nervous.. some lady passed me a prayer card though the seats.. but once i'm in the air for about 30 min i think its not so bad... I feel your pain though!! I am scared of big planes,, the bigger the more nervous I am.. i think, "There is no way this big ass thing can stay in the air!!" Glad you made it back safe and sound!! Happy New Year!!

Becky said...

I never liked airplanes either, it just feels clostrophobic (sp) to me. All closed in you can't get out... It freaks me out too, and the loud noise when the engines turn on....

I'm glad you had a good flight though.

Hope you have a great year to come!

Neo said...

Lee Ann -Flying through Atlanta is a bitch. I passed through there when I was visiting my Florida branch. We circled the airport for about an hour because of severe weather.

Also being a musician gives me a natural fear of flying. You know the reasons.

If I can I avoid flying all together. But once you're relaxed, the clouds are so pretty aren't they?


ticharu said...

No thanks... I'll walk!

mojoala said...


I hate flying, each new trip on a plane brings me closer to certain inevitable death!

Just Kidding!

Lee Ann said...

Rob ~ Wow...I would have freaked out in your situation!

Boo ~ Thank you so much!

Kay Ray ~ Wouldn't we be a sight flying together! ;)

Becky ~ I know exactly what you mean! Thank you!

Neo ~ Yes, I do know why. Yeah, once in the air, if all is going smoothly, it is quite peaceful.

Tich ~ haha, I know you would! ;)

MOJO ~ Well, well...welcome back! HAPPY NEW YEAR to you too! I have missed you.

kellywalters said...

you know.. some fears develop for no reason.. you know what I mean..

Good that you at least didnt let it get the better of you..

Lee Ann said...

Roxi ~ Hey! Thank you for stopping by. I know what you mean. I used to love to fly, and it has just recently developed into a fear.
I hope to see you over here more often.

The Husband said...

i love flying...the bumpier the ride the better.

Calzone said...

Hey baby...I'll fly with you

Lee Ann said...

Carl ~ you are just a little dare devil aren't you?

Calzone ~ Ok baby, that makes me feel better!

Ellen said...

Lee Ann- I agree with you on the fear of flying, it scares the heck out of me... especially after 9/11.
As much as I can reasonably talk my mind into it, my nerves cannot be convinced. I actually went up to New England on a train my last visit up... which was not much of a picnic either.

I had to laugh when I read the reference about ATL's airport.... how true! My brother flew down in May 2005, and had a very bad experience there. Not only did his luggage arrive on a different plane hours later, but the MARTA system was shut down due to a jumper on the third rail.
Yep, Atlanta airport has a bad reputation... but it is the gateway to the south if you have to do any reconnecting. My suggestion is that you bring a good thick book with you if you have to come this way at all.

Kay Ray said...

I think they would dump us off somewhere LOL

Lee Ann said...

Ellen ~ haha, The Atlanta airport stinks. It is best when you can ride the subway/shuttle to your gate, but I once had to RUN down the moving sidewalk. What a drag!

Kay Ray ~ haha, you are probably right. Are you any good at sky diving? (I haven't ever done it!)haha

Bathroom Hippo said...

Birdgirl! Activate Mentok Repellent! KaBLAM!

Grab that "THING" and use it!

Run Birdgirl!

Lee Ann said...

Absolutely Hippo!