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Does Flying Make You Nervous (too)??

AirFranceDoes hearing about these tragedies make you feel uneasy to fly??

I don’t get to fly that often, and I admit I am usually 50 percent excited to be going (anywhere!), 50 percent nervous that something might go wrong.

I know all the arguments about how airplanes are safer than cars, blah blah blah….and I get it; but I can’t help but also get those little butterflies in my stomach when the plane engines fire up for take-off. 

I remember taking a trip only weeks after JFK Jr.’s horribly sad plane accident back in 1999.  My flight happened to be out over the Pacific Ocean when we hit turbulence and I can still remember that feeling of sheer terror I felt as I gripped the armrest and wondered my fate.  We bumped around for probably 30 seconds or so – then everything was fine – the high drama was over.  But yikes! 

I was actually flying back and forth across the country on a regular basis in 2000 and part of 2001 – and managing okay I must toot my own horn say, when one of the greatest tragedies of all happened: 9-11.  Those events changed air travel forever and certainly added a new level to my increasing nervousness: airplanes now being transformed into weapons of mass destruction. Terrific. 

Some argue we are SAFER in the air since the events of 9-11 – and I certainly hope that is the case.  For me, it only added another dimension to my mixed feelings on flying.  Of course tragedies happen all around us, and we don’t let them affect our normal activities and lives.  Still, there is something EXTRA scary about an accident involving a plane.  Is it due to the actually sheer size of it?  Or the fact there are usually hundreds of people on board a plane – thus putting the risk to others at a much greater number?

I know people that fly across the country all the time.  I wonder if plane crashes and malfunctions are something they think about at all – or if they just go about their regular business of getting from here to there?  After all, what can you do?  Face it, you are pretty powerless from the time you board to the time you step off again.  I guess if you’re on board praying, it ought to be for the PILOT – because he (or she) is the one in control (and the one that needs all the good thoughts and grace).   

My husband once said in a half-joking kind of way that if we ever took a trip to Europe without the kids (which I can’t imagine would ever happen) that we should fly on separate planes.  It sounds silly, but I think I would totally do it.  Would most people say we are crazy – that if the plane goes down, we should go down together?  (I wonder, does it make it a more noble death that way – or perhaps easier to stomach the thought of because you’ve got someone’s hand to hold)? 

Or is the crazy part the fact we even think about it?  Does anyone else??  Hard to know because it’s really not your typical dinner party conversation.  Maybe this Zen Mama Wannabe is just a little more nervous up in the air than I’d like to admit.

Either way, my heart goes out to all the victims of Air Paris’ Flight #447 and their families. It’s one thing to occasionally think about these types of things.  It is quite another to actually have to go through it.  My thoughts are with you.

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3 Responses to “Does Flying Make You Nervous (too)??”

  1. LarkLady Says:
    June 1st, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Our daughter left this morning to fly across country; I hadn’t heard about the plane going down off Brazil until after she was in the air. I have to admit I wasn’t entirely comfortable until she was safely on the ground again!
    Mostly I’m only nervous during take-off and landing. But I used to like to fly; now I don’t. Part of it is all the hassle of getting on a plane these days; part of it is all the cutbacks in service. And part of it is just that before it never occurred to me that someone would really try to deliberately take down a commercial airliner; now it’s always there in the background.
    My prayers go out to the families and friends of those who were on Flight 447!

  2. Zen Mama Wannabe Says:
    June 1st, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Glad to hear your daughter landed safely! Yeah, air travel today just ain’t what it used to me. (or I’m definitely much more of a chicken)! Hmm – maybe a little of both??

  3. callieandbatido Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 4:43 am

    I too used to love to fly and now don’t enjoy it at all. I am not necessarily nervous or scared something will happen but I am also aware that something could. I add my prayers to the friends and families of Flight 447.

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