For some people, traveling by air is fun and they wish to do it every day. As a travel blogger with over 200 flights, 800 hours in the air which translates into spending a full month in the skies, thoughts of dying in a plane crash send shivers down my spine any time I am airborne. In a way to squash those fears, I normally take a long break from my travels to deal with my mental shift in a way to build the confidence to fly again.
If trains and buses could take me to every one of my destinations, I bet I would never take flights.
After reading through safety statistics and been told chances of dying in a plane crash is one in eleven million, compared to car accident which is one in five thousand; it is obvious driving is more dangerous than flying but I am still terrorized by the mere thought of boarding a plane. And I believe I am not alone.
I have pieced together some facts gathered from my flying experiences that may help some of us deal with aviophobia. Check them out:
1) If you’ve ever been in a car, then keep flying
If you have been enjoying yourself in cars comfortably without fears of dying, then you have every reason not to be afraid of plane crash. As said earlier, chances of dying in a plane crash is one out of 11 million while that of car accident is one out of 5000.
Per statistics, a person has to take flight every day for 55,000 years before experiencing a fatal accident. Research has also proven that, one is more likely to die by falling off a ladder or out of bed, food poisoning than from a plane crash.
2) Turbulence won’t bring the plane down
Airplanes pass through turbulence every day but we don’t hear of turbulence causing planes to crash. At cruising altitude, it just doesn’t happen. And in other stages of flight it’s, at most, very, very rare. It takes a lot more than bumps along the way to down a plane.
Turbulence generated by thunderstorms could cause accidents. The updrafts and sudden wind shifts can be so violent that a big thunderstorm can bring an airplane down, especially if it happens near the ground. But the good news is that, pilots have been trained long ago to fly around storms.
Modern airplanes have sophisticated radar detection that allow pilots to navigate around thunderstorms so it’s no more a worry to be scared of thunderstorms.
Turbulence can however cause serious accidents onboard or even kill in some instances. To remain safe from such accidents, passengers are advised to always have seat-belts fastened.
3) Engine Failure? Don’t be worried!
If one engine breaks down, the other is enough to take the aircraft to its destination. Dual engine failure is almost unheard of but if all engines happen to fail, that isn’t the end. The speed at which aircraft travels is capable of landing at the nearest airport. Some planes may have as much as 20 to 30 minutes to land with failed engines.
Some people kill their fears of flying by taking alcohol. Yes, it’s really fun when you are onboard drunk. But drinking alcohol onboard may not be the best option for you. Our next article will discuss the dangers of being drunk on the plane.
Columnist: Akesse Sanza