Thursday, 2 February 2012

Be careful who you talk to

This came up this week. An email from a previous delegate on one of our courses.

Background:

Kerry came on our course and flew and enjoyed it. This is something that she hadn't done for about 30 years.  She came home and was talking excitedly about how she had done and all the things that she had learned. 

Then it happened.

A 'well meaning' relative started to tell her that in fact what she had been told was wrong.  He wasn't a pilot.  But of course, he just knew he was right! 

A few choice words spring to mind right now!!
One of Kerry's fears was aircraft falling. He told her that an aircraft he was on 'fell 20,000 feet.'

This unsettled Kerry. So, here is a snapshot of my answer to her.

My Email

Kerry,
Technically, they can fall in two circumstances that I can think of. 1. Being shot down. 2. A full stall.

1. On point number 1, people aren't generally shooting at commercial jets as far as I am aware right now.

2. Point number 2.  This is a retrievable thing. All modern aircraft have a system to warn of stalling (stalling is when lift is lost). All pilots are trained to tilt nose so it regains lift. So again, not likely.  The aircraft systems will warn you well before if you are in danger of stalling. 

As a result of poor readings/misleading information on the Air France incident, everyone has had their training updated. So, when misleading or confusing readings are presented, the pilots can focus on putting wings at a certain setting, nose certain angle, engines working or not makes no difference = no stall and keep flying.  ( The writer of today's blog is not a pilot so my terminology will be in plain speak)

Most movement in the air is rapid change of altitude over a short or long distance. Remember at 500 miles per hour, how could it just drop? It can't. Altitude change over a short distance will feel more of a drop. Autopilot self corrects but we don't feel the ups only the downs.

So, the main message is this.  Don't talk to anybody about fear of flying because unless they do it as a vocation (helping others to beat the fear like we do) they don't know how to help you necessarily.  

Some people, when you mention a fear of flying, will  then proceed to tell you about their 'near death experience' - as if that is going to help you.  Don't listen to anyone else. If you have a question, send us an email and we will get an expert to answer it.

Take care

Paul & Richard

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