Fear of Flying: What is a ‘Go-Around’?

You may have experienced this in the past, or possibly will do in the future. You are on the final approach to your destination, the landing gear is down, and you are looking forward to getting some fresh air. Suddenly, the landing gear is retracted, and you shoot back up into the sky. A flight attendant will say something along the lines of the following over the PA system; Ladies & gentlemen, for operational reasons the captain has decided to climb back up rather than continue with the landing. This is a completely normal procedure, and the pilots will give you more information shortly. Please stay in your seats with your seatbelts fastened. This is what's called a … [Read more...]

How an Aircraft Flies: Control Surfaces

The basic rules of flight state that for an aircraft to fly straight, at a continuous speed, then lift must equal weight, and thrust must equal drag. But, of course, it wouldn't be much use if an aircraft could only fly straight would it?! So, how does a plane ascend, descend, turn and increase/decrease speed? Firstly, let's look at a diagram of a modern airliner's control surfaces;  … [Read more...]

Fear of Flying: What About Engine Failure?

A big fear for many of you appears to be the possibility of engine failure. Admittedly it does sound scary, but there are a few reasons why you do not need to worry about it; Jet engine reliability is outstanding. The engines are built to such a high standard, and with such a degree of accuracy, that the majority of commercial airline pilots will never experience engine failure - apart from the hours of practise in the simulator. An aircraft can fly perfectly safely with just one engine, maintaining speed, and altitude with no problems. Even if ALL engines fail (highly improbable), the aircraft will be able to glide for approx 30 minutes and cover a distance of 120 miles. All the controls will continue to work as they would with full … [Read more...]

Help For Fear of Flying: Aerodynamics Explained

Many flying fears stem from a lack of understanding of aerodynamics, and how the aircraft stays in the air. In this article I'm going to explain the basics for you, to help you gain more knowledge on the subject and overcome your fear of flying. It's a common misconception that the aircraft's engines keep the plane in the air, whereas it's actually simple aerodynamics at work. A huge jet aircraft (such as a 435ton Boeing 747) can glide to safety with … [Read more...]

Flying Fear: How Do Airplanes Fly?

When it comes to getting over your fear of flying, one of the best treatments is ........ knowledge. Understanding how an aircraft flies, and stays in the air, is a great way of feeling safer and more calm while flying. I will be covering much of this for you in future weeks - but as a basic introduction I found this video on YouTube. I will be sharing many more videos with you, but this one is a great starting point to understanding how something so large can fly - and stay in the air. … [Read more...]