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

Love life walks began on mountaintop

first_img “I was hiking the Appalachian Trail when I learned my son had taken his life,” Fugate said. “I left the trail but, later, I went back and finished the hike. As I was standing there on the top of Mount Katahdin, I knew I had to do something to keep others from experiencing what it’s like to lose a child in such a way. I had to find some way to mend a broken heart while yet beating and to share that way with others.”On Monday, Steve Fugate was walking along busy Highway 231 with a sign above his head that read “Love Life.”He stopped to rest in Brundidge at the lunch invitation of Shaynne Braswell of Eufaula. “For some reason, I wanted to stop and talk with him,” Braswell said. “A friend was on the phone with me when I saw a man walking with a sign that said, Love Life. I told my friend I wanted to stop. He asked me why. I didn’t really know. So, I just said that he might be a veteran.”And, yes, he was.“I served in the Navy from 1962-1964,” Fugate said. “That was during Vietnam.” But neither his military service nor his foot-miles across the country are the heart of Fugate’s story. “I’ve walked this country nine times now and have covered about 47,000 miles in honor of my son,” he said. By walking I am letting others know that we should Love Life. It’s not always easy to do but it’s possible.”Fugate started his Love Life walks in 1991 to honor his son. Six years later, he was again challenged in his love of life when his daughter died. But, after losing both his children, Fugate still loves life. He shares his love of life and the beauty of America with those who, like Braswell, “for some unknown reason” are compelled to stop and talk.Fugate’s home base in Sabastian, Florida. His walks have taken him all across the country. The Love Life Walks have taken him from California to Maine which is the “knock-down most gorgeous state.” The walk Fugate is now on will take him to Georgia to share thoughts with a reader of his book “Love Life Walk.” Then, he will double back to Oregon – if things settle down. Along the way, along all Fugate’s ways, he shares his stories and others share theirs which are shared in his book,” Love Life Walk.”“I’ve talked with people from all walks of life, of every creed, of every race – so many who have something to share about loving life and how we ‘walk’ through it,” Fugate said. “And every story is a smile framed by tears.” By The Penny Hoarder Love life walks began on mountaintop By Jaine Treadwell Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies Are… Book Nook to reopen Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Published 9:31 pm Monday, August 3, 2020 Alabama nears 90,000 confirmed cases Pike County’s risk shifted back to the high category in the latest assessment by the Alabama Department of Public Health…. read more Skipcenter_img Print Article You Might Like Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Sponsored Content Steve Fugate stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin with tears running down his face.But, it’s not unusual for those who complete the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia to the top of “The Greatest Mountain” to have a mystical experience.But, for Steve Fugate, completing the Appalachian Trail was more than conquering a trail and experiencing the exhilaration of being on the mountain top. It was the beginning of a new journey that had roots in a place of deep sorrow. Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Patriot Health ZoneHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential Health32-second Stretch Ends Back Pain & Sciatica (Watch)Healthier LivingThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Email the author Latest Storieslast_img read more