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The only book you’ll ever need to conquer your fear of flying

For anyone who is anxious about flying, this book will give you all the answers you’ll need to fly with less anxiety. Or help you take to the air for the first time. It is the most comprehensive and reader-friendly book available anywhere in the world. Its informal style is reassuring  and informative and has helped thousands of people to go flying. It was first published in 2003 as  Flying without Fear and has been reprinted three times. This new edition contains a section on the psychology of fear by Dr Alison Smith. Facts about flying (Part One) and Strategies and Motivation (Part Three), have been written by Captain Keith,

The book asks the questions that fearful flyers ask. The answers are simple but accurate and there are no answers that will leave the reader confused or worried. Everything is explained in layman’s language and the easy-going style guarantees to hold your interest and help you to learn about the bits of flying that worry you. This book will normalise flying for you. Flying planes is what pilots do, and when they’ve finished they go home to their family just like everyone else does. And what’s more they probably forget to pick up some milk on the way home …like everyone else. 

The section on psychology will be of interest to anyone who feels they want to know more about the feelings they have and the reasons for them. There are some useful exercises to help you on your way and to keep you occupied during your flight.

But with the best will in the world, we can all lose interest in something that we know we have to do. Overcoming a fear of flying can be a long process so how do you keep going?  The Strategies and Motivation section is where you’ll find advice and encouragement to keep you focussed on overcoming your fears. A chapter with hints and tips, support and encouragement from ex-fearful flyers will help the reader to address their fears and go flying with less anxiety. The only book you’ll ever need to conquer your fear of flying.

This was the first time I’d written anything other than training material. My problem was not one of what to write but deciding on what writers and publishers call the ‘voice’. Should it be a story, a description of how planes fly or everything about aviation that I thought might interest readers? I wrote masses of stuff but just couldn’t make it readable from a fearful flyers point of view but I realised that when I first meet nervous flyers they bombard me with questions, What if …? What happens…? Why do pilots …? I also had a number of conversations with several fearful flyers who provided most of the questions for this book

 I asked other fearful flyers to send me questions about the things that worried them! All in all other people wrote the book for me.

The Motivation and Strategies section has a section where ex-fearful flyers explained to me the techniques they used to overcome and control their fears. So I ended up with two books that were tailored to the needs of my target audience and written by them. If only I knew who they all were I could share the Royalties. Thank you for buying or reading it …it was tremendous fun writing it!

Is it true that some people are happy to fly, then suddenly, on one flight, things are so terrifying that they become frightened forever?

It appears so but it’s not really the case. What happens is that people hear stories of dreadful flights then expect the same thing to happen to them. In the meantime they become more and more nervous, more and more apprehensive until they talk themselves, and everyone else, into one bit of turbulence, being thought of as ‘the worst flight ever’.

So how dangerous is it?

It is not dangerous. Just keep yourself strapped in tightly and it won’t feel so bad, because you will move with the aircraft, instead of a moment after – which always makes it seem worse.

How uncomfortable is it?

It’s very uncomfortable in the worst cases. But that’s not the same as being dangerous. It usually feels bad because the occasional feeling of weightlessness gives you a feeling of falling. Remember, what you feel is not the same as what the aircraft is doing.

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