Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Go arounds

This thank you message appeared on the message board today. We thought it was great for many reasons. One of those is that it gives you an idea of the strategy a previously nervous person can now adopt when dealing with their nerves.

Attending our course is about being able to make informed choices in the future.  The choice was robbed from you previously by your fear - your fear rules you not the other way around (if you are not careful). 

Some delegates leave the course and still have some fear. The fear does not always go away straight away. It is about practising the techniques and challenging any faulty thinking that you do afterwards...  Read below as this is a good example of it

I attended your course in Southampton this year and have just returned from a two week holiday in Orlando. First off I did post on here before I left and thanks to Richard for the reply it helped.

I was still nervous on the way out the day before but was 1000% better at the airport (my family confirmed this). I did though have a moment of panic as I boarded the flight. We were late going to the plane (confusion with the gate time) and ran to the gate to board, this meant I didn't have any time to think about the boarding and was struck with fear when I saw the Virgin plane we were going on. We went to the top deck of the jumbo and as my family went to their seats I was struck with fear and refused, staying at the top of the stairs...
It's at this point my wife spoke to the Virgin cabin crew, who then calmed me down, reassured me and I then went to my seat. The flight was smooth up to an hour or so out of Orlando, when we came across some heavy turbulence (well what I call heavy-the seatbelt sign was on, but the crew were still walking round the aircraft), knowing that this turbulence isn't dangerous, although I felt a tad nervous during it, I stayed calm. The cabin crew also came and checked with me, during this time to make sure I was ok. I realised as well we had flown through some clouds so the weather was having an affect on the flight (as explained during the course). The crew told me the captain had requested to climb to 38000ft so we would have less bumps and also we had flown over the jet stream.
We then came into Orlando and as we came into land, we had a go-around, it was only because I took the course that I knew what was going on... the captain was quiet during this time until we had circled (as explained during the course, he was busy flying the aircraft). What the captain advised about 5 mins after was, as they came into land there was heavy rain over the runway and another runway didn't have the same issue, so he had decided to fly around to that one. When you read the flying without fear book, this is explained, as the pilot could only see the rain at the time they flew out of the cloud base. I realised that the crew have your utmost safety in mind at all times.

During the two week holiday I enjoyed myself and for once didn't have the flight in my mind constantly, which was great. I only started thinking about it on the day of departure and this wasn't helped with a storm over the airport whilst we waited to board. This delayed the flight by about an hour, as the ground crew don't go near the plane, whilst there is lightening overhead... The storm cleared and as we boarded I had the same nervous feelings. This time though I went to my seat on the top deck and decided to tell the cabin staff of my fear! As I had already called Virgin before I left about the fact I had attended the course (as recommended in the book), they already knew about the fact I was on the plane (and even my seat number!).

Once again the staff reassured me on the lead up to take off and put me at complete ease. The two members of the team on the top deck, were excellent and checked on me throughout the flight. They even allowed me to talk to them and have a cup of tea with them, at a time I felt nervous.
This had to be one of the smoothest flights I've ever been on, a bit of turbulence on the way out of the US, but, we never once had the seat belt sign on and the landing into Gatwick was great.

The Flying without fear course has helped me, especially with the go-around as we came into land. I was so much better on the lead up to the flight and also during my holiday.
As Richard explained to me, because I don't fly often, it seems to be a big deal when I do, as it like not a daily event like driving, so I am making it a big issue. I realise I am not comfortable during the flight and this is why I have moments of panic on the lead up to it and as I board, its the thought of being stuck on the plane for 9 hours or so, and just waiting for something bad to happen, or turbulence to hit. Its these thoughts that I need to block and try and put a big STOP signal in my head when they do.
Do I think I'm fully over this phobia, no, not fully, would I take another flight today, yes I would, because I believe its only from doing this over and over, do you realise how easy it is.

The course helps a hell of a lot towards understanding about flight and without this information, I'm sure I would of been freaking out, when we didn't land when expected in Orlando. I also realised during this time, how wonderful planes are, that we were able to power away from a landing and safely go around to another runway and the captain put safety over landing on time.

My recommendation is to take the course before you fly, it helps so much. Also to call your airline and make them aware of your phobia. Then make the cabin crew aware. The Virgin team on my flights were outstanding, especially on the flight home, they could not do enough to help me and make sure I was OK. They made the journey so much more relaxing an they are there to help. I have written to Virgin to express my thanks to their team.
But I did it, I flew 9 hours and then 8 hours and encountered things covered in the course and it helped. I enjoyed my two week holiday and when I look back at how nervous I was as I boarded, I have to question why that was, as really, it wasn't any problems what so ever.
Thank you, :D
Future Courses

Group  fear of flying course dates

Birmingham 20th October 2013
Manchester 10th November 2013
Gatwick 17th November 2013 (adult course and children’s course run at same venue in different rooms)
Southampton 1st December 2013
London Luton 19th January 2014

Other workshop dates

Developing Resilience Workshop - date 20th October 2013 Gatwick area
Banish Stress Forever Workshop - 13th October 2013 Gatwick area

Take care
Paul & Richard

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