Flying high to face fears

first_imgNewsFlying high to face fearsBy Staff Reporter – June 19, 2015 1105 Limerick Post Show | Shannon Airport route announcement with Aer Lingus NAPD give tips to avoid Leaving Cert anxiety. TAGSAnxietyAtlantic AirVenture Aviation CentrefearFear of flyingflyingholidayslimerickphobiasShannonsummertravelworldtravel Read Your Mind launches in Limerick City and County Libraries Advertisement Before take off in the simulator – Cockpit of Boeing 737 Reporter  Aoife McLoughlin with Pilot Melanie Rogan Atlantic Venture , Shannon.Picture Brendan GleesonWITH a spate of aviation disasters in the last 18 months, the nightmarish “what-if’s” seem all the more possible for some nervous passengers. Aviophobia affects around 30 per cent of the population and often prohibits them from experiencing some of life’s happier moments. Reporter Aoife McLoughlin visited Atlantic Airventure in Shannon for the first step in her journey to conquer her fear of flying.IT’S summer – or so the calendar shows – and with it comes the exciting prospect of jetting off to holiday destinations across the globe. Sun, sea and sand and are just some of images one conjures up at this time.But for some, like me, the image of hurtling to certain death from 30,000 feet while trapped in a fiery tin can with 300 other terrified and screaming souls can spring to mind. So I settle for Kerry instead.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Thirty per cent of  us are said to suffer with some form of fear of flying.Defined as aviophobia, this fear not only stops the fearful from travelling, but for those who do, it can act like an instant allergy, causing symptoms such as sweating, nausea, palpitations, shakes and heightened senses.Personally, besides the panic attacks, I cry and mentally type goodbye texts to my family while visualising my plummet to the sea.“It’s just not supposed to be up there,” is the phrase often used by us aviophobes and sometimes that can be the best explanation to justify this fear.With five high-profile fatal aviation disasters in just over a year and some less documented incidents in that same time, it’s no wonder the fearful feel they have a very good argument when it comes to not getting in those flying tin cans.But with three possible flights looming before me this year (one that will be a minimum of 15 hours), I have decided to try and combat the relentless terror that grips me and so many others as it sucks the joy out of any adventure outside our little isle.I have tried counselling, I have tried anti-anxiety medication, I even tried several glasses of wine on a flight to Japan, but this only proved to be an unpleasant experience for both me and the Japanese man sitting beside me who didn’t need to be told 50 times that it was my first long haul flight.So, I am adopting an ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ attitude and have gone straight for the jugular.Diving into the world of aviation seems like the next appropriate step to try and overcome the crippling fear that prohibits so many from seeing the world.So with that image of sun, sea and sand so desperately trying to poke its way through the dark thoughts conjured up by my aviophobic mind, I decide to take a trip to Shannon’s Atlantic Airventure Centre where founder Jane Magill has kindly offered to let me take part in their Fear of Flying course.The course involves flying in the flight simulator and a talk with a pilot in a pre-flight classroom lesson.I meet with Melanie – a real life pilot – who is going tell me the what’s-what with those tin cans in the sky. Sitting in a classroom, I am surrounded by mini aeroplanes, parts of wings and aviation equipment. Pieces from old jets are proudly on display along with three small aircraft parked outside.With this my anxiety starts to kick in.Pilot Melanie Rogan, originally from New Jersey, USA, has more than 33 years experience flying planes and has surpassed 15,000 hours in the sky so far.She gets straight to the point and asks me why I am afraid of flying. Having focused on the issue so much since my first flight in 1999, I really wasn’t able to give her a definitive answer. It’s a combination of claustrophobia, lack of control, a fear of heights and a lack of understanding of aerodynamics.The dying thing doesn’t help either.I guess trying to figure out how a 400-tonne metal tube has the ability to safely stay in the air for hours travelling at speed just doesn’t compute.Melanie gives me some examples of the kind of fears women have expressed to her and says she feels men are less likely to admit a fear of flying.“When I was flying small aeroplanes, one of the WWE wrestling show gentlemen get on. He was called Andre the Giant.“It was a small 30-seat aircraft and he was huge, twice my height, twice my width, just a massive human being. He looked at me and said ‘I can’t do it’.It freaked him out. So I pulled him aside and said: ‘My mamma didn’t raise no fool. If I didn’t think that aeroplanes were safe and flew well, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing’. So he did it and he was fine.”I question her on how it all works, almost expecting her to tell me it’s magic, because to me at this point that has to be the only explanation.“Do you ever remember as a little child, sticking your hand out the window of a car and you could feel the wind beneath your palm? And when you turned your hand (90 degrees), the wind pushed it back? And when you just tilted it up slightly it would lift your arm back? That is why aeroplanes fly,” she says.Melanie then describes thrust and drag, low pressure and high pressure and how all that combined with the force of the wind makes a plane fly.“It’s still miraculous to me that the thing flies but it does and it does it very well,” she says.And with around 60,000 passenger flights in the air every day, the statistics would indicate that aircrafts, in fact, do fly very well.“Getting in your car is far riskier than getting in an aircraft, but what causes a fear of flying in people’s minds is that when there is an accident, hundreds of people die and that’s what makes it a global news event.”Melanie tells me pilots are checked every six months on their ability to fly, ability to handle emergencies, cockpit procedures, and they receive an Electrocardiogram (EKG) examination annually, once they reach 40 years of age.She tells me how engineers check different parts of the plane before takeoff and how pilots recheck these parts once on board.She describes the situations people are most afraid of happening and gives a procedure or names a component to counteract each and every possible fault.I start to realise that there are back-ups for the back-ups in all of these scenarios, which in themselves have a miniscule chance of occurring.For example, Melanie explains that in the unlikely event of an engine fail, there are two more engines. If they all fail, which is even more unlikely, the plane becomes a glider because engines are used to push the plane at speed and it’s the wings that cause it to fly.I think of my hand out the car window and the penny starts to drop.She then pulls up a map of the Atlantic on her computer and begins to show me wind currents, flight paths and pockets of turbulence categorised by colour.“Turbulence, it’s not dangerous and we avoid it. Turbulence is low pressure and high pressure from warm and moist air meeting. It’s updrafts and downdrafts. The only dangerous part is that you can over-stress the aircraft when flying in extreme turbulence, but they are designed to exceed their stress limits. Turbulence doesn’t bother pilots but we will know where the bracket of it is and we can be routed around it if we need.”After almost two hours of explaining the main factors involved in flying, the role of airport control, wind currents and weather, I am beginning to gain some insight into the whole aircraft-flying thing but I wonder is all this information going to feed my fear when I am on a plane in two weeks’ time. I could know too much. I start writing that text message to my family in my mind. Anything could still happen.It’s now time to move on to the simulator and the thoughts of being in simulated sky on a simulated plane still make my stomach flip and my palms break out in a cold sweat.I find myself sitting in the captain’s seat of a Boeing 737 cockpit, equipped with original instrumentation. Lights, buttons, levers and knobs surround me from head to toe and each one is operating through a computer with a huge curved screen acting as our view outside.Melanie starts her up and that familiar and terrifying whirling sound kicks in. The simulator plays every noise a passenger would hear as if on a real plane. As each shudder-inducing grind and whirl occurs, Melanie explains what they are. “That’s just the engine starting up like in your car…That’s just the landing gear,” and so on.Once the plane is up and running we are ready to go. “I am going to let you take off,” she says.In front of me on the screen is a lifelike runway from Shannon Airport. I follow Melanie’s instructions to accelerate and begin to taxi down the runway. My eyes have now tricked my brain into thinking I am travelling at speed and my body reacts. “Look ahead and push your foot on the pedal, now pull the yoke back to your belly, a little more, a little more, that’s it.”I ascend towards the sky over Shannon Airport. The view and feeling is extraordinary. It’s liberating. I follow Melanie’s instructions as she co-steers and we fly over Limerick city, turning the plane a few times and eventually landing back on the runway.It may not have been the best landing as the autopilot alerted me that I was coming in too steep, but there can be no harm done in a simulator.I am surprised that I feel disappointed that my time has come to an end but I realise I have a new sense of appreciation, wonderment – and dare I say thrill.On leaving the centre, Jane meets me at reception and asks how I got on. I tell her that to my surprise I enjoyed the piloting bit.She asks me to see how the course has helped when I travel to the UK as a passenger in a fortnight. It is only then that I will be able to put my experience of the day to the test.And if all goes relatively better than my usual anxiety-riddled ride, Jane has offered me to go one step further taking to skies along side another pilot. Real skies. That text message appears in my head again but this time I save it in drafts.I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Print Email WhatsAppcenter_img Linkedin Previous articleCouncil rejects Dock Road traffic studyNext articleCall to extend Limerick City sewerage network to Ballyclough Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Psychology expert gives advice on coping with an ‘anxiety pandemic’ Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Information evening to be held about new youth club in Kilcornan Aviation course takes off at LITlast_img read more

Local Farm Bureau Insurance Agents aiming to end hunger in Michigan

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisAlpena — Local Farm Bureau Insurance agents have taken on a tall task, ending hunger in Michigan.Through the Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan Agent Charitable Fund, local agents all over the state have put together trucks ready to hall fresh produce to food banks for people in need. Over $500,000 has been placed into the fund to help facilitate the movement of these trucks which will take unwanted produce from food producing companies to food banks. In Alpena, Local Farm Bureau Insurance agent Robert Barrigar is leading the charge, working with local businesses and families to get the region’s truck ready to roll.“The biggest impact that we can have in the state is not having kids that are going to school, worried about where there next meal is coming from,” said Barrigar. “The more that they can focus on their schoolwork, get better grades is going to have a bigger impact pulling people out of poverty rather than, for instance writing checks to a community and using the money that way.”Signage was prepared by Omega Electric. The truck was donated by Jerry Jr. and Diane Kuehnlein. The truck driver’s fees and skills have been donated by Sumerix Farms. Refrigeration systems have implemented in all of these trucks to help transport the food. Milk will be the first delivery down in Warren. The truck will be filled up with crates of milk to deliver, followed by produce. The hope is to have more and more of these trucks hit the roadway to continue helping those who are hungry.For Barrigar and Omega Electric President Ryan Fairchild, it shows that the community is willing to step up to this tall task.“We work hard here, I think most of the country knows that,” said Fairchild. “Alpena’s a small town and we have to work a little harder than most, things don’t come as easy to us here, so when we have a chance to make a difference, you’ll see a lot more people come together and work hard.”AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Farm Bureau Insurance, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, Food Bank, Fresh Produce, Hunger, MICHIGAN, Omega Electric, Truck, TruckingContinue ReadingPrevious Authors, Pegg Thomas & Kathleen Rouser Share Pages From Their New Book: ‘Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides’Next Alcona Community Schools receiving new key and lock system thanks to state grantlast_img read more

NHL playoffs 2019: Predators’ Craig Smith ties series with overtime goal vs. Dallas

first_imgJust two games into Saturday’s slate of Stanley Cup playoff contests, there were already two overtime finishes. After Brooks Orpik boosted the Capitals to a 4-3 overtime win against Carolina, Predators’ right wing Craig Smith drilled a close-range shot five minutes into overtime to tie their series with Dallas at one win apiece. Smith secured control of a loose puck in traffic and ripped a shot past Stars’ goaltender Ben Bishop to serve Bishop his first overtime loss in the postseason. The goal was Smith’s first of the 2019 playoffs and seventh postseason goal of his career. He now has three game-winning goals in the playoffs, which ties for the most in franchise history.Craig Smith scored his third career game-winning goal in the #StanleyCup Playoffs, tied for the most in @PredsNHL history (w/ James Neal, Viktor Arvidsson and David Legwand). #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/jhcNb4OH4W— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 14, 2019The Stars will look to get their revenge at home on April 15.last_img read more

FAVORED MOR SPIRIT WINS GRADE III, $150,000 ROBERT B. LEWIS STAKES BY A MEASURED 1 ½ LENGTHS WITH STEVENS UP; BAFFERT COLT STAMPS HIMSELF AS WEST COAST’S TOP DERBY HOPEFUL

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2016)–Mor Spirit took Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by a measured 1 ½ lengths under Gary Stevens and unequivocally stamped himself as the West Coast’s top Derby hopeful.Trained by Bob Baffert, who saddled his record sixth Lewis winner, the Pennsylvania-bred colt sat a perfect trip in behind dueling leaders I Will Score and Uncle Lino around the far turn and Stevens waited to call upon the long-striding son of Eskendereya leaving the furlong pole and won easily.“I actually got there (to the lead) quicker than I wanted to,” said Stevens. “I was loaded going into the stretch. He’s pretty special and I’m looking forward to facing more competition. He wasn’t even blowing after the race…I haven’t got close to finding the bottom of him yet and that’s a good feeling. He seems to do just enough of what’s in front of him, he likes a target. I think as he faces better horses, he’ll only get better.”Off at 3-5 in a field of six, Mor Spirit paid $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10. Owned by Michael Lund Petersen, Mor Spirit followed his win in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity posting his third win from five starts. With the winner’s share of $90,000, he increased his earnings to $378,400 and most importantly, picked up 10 all-important qualifying points to start in the Kentucky Derby on May 7.“He has that long stride, but in the mornings, he’s not a very good work horse. He’s sort of lazy…They were two really nice horses (Uncle Lino and I Will Score)…It makes the race even more interesting in that he’s able to collar those horses.”When asked what might be next for Mor Spirit, Baffert replied, “I don’t know. We know he’ll go on a plane to go somewhere, but right now, I’ll just go by how he’s doing. It’s just too far ahead.”In his fourth career start and first time around two turns, Uncle Lino, who was ridden by Fernando Perez, broke from the far outside and pushed I Will Score through splits of 23.49, 47.78, 1:12.34 and 1:37.10.Off at 7-1, he finished a half length in front of I Will Score. Trained by Gary Sherlock, he paid $5.20 and $2.80.“I’m very happy, he ran good,” said Sherlock. “The pace scenario dictated what we had to do what we did today…We’ll move forward off of this. He won’t be leaving here. I don’t have to go anywhere, there’s a million dollar race four hundred yards from his stall (Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 9).Ridden by Mike Smith, I Will Score was making only his third career start and was also trying a route of ground for the first time.“He ran really well,” said Smith. “The winner’s a really good horse. He’s definitely on the Derby Trail. He’s definitely that kind of horse. So we got beat by some good horses…He’s probably better off sprinting because he’s naturally quick. In saying that, he didn’t run bad.”The second choice at 5-2, he paid $2.60 to show.The second, third and fourth (Dressed in Hermes) place finishers picked up four, two and one Kentucky Derby qualifying points.last_img read more