Movements of the plane explained for fearful flyers

The movements that you feel in a plane are not necessarily what the plane is doing. What you think the plane is doing is confused by the changes of speeds, the accelerations of the plane and the change of nose position. Although the sensations may make you more anxious there is nothing to worry about. It is not because you are fearful that you get those  'wobbly' feelings ... everyone does.


If you can’t see out … this feels level

In fact one of the first things we teach new pilots when they learn to fly by instruments is… learn more about this subject on our Premium on-line fear of flying course. A human being is designed to travel whilst looking looking forward and travelling at about 4 miles an hour, which is the reason our eyes are at the front of our head and not at the sides. Sometimes, if we’re feeling energetic we can travel a little faster but one thing is for certain and that is … learn more about this on Premium … Contrast this with an aircraft where we travel at up to 600 an hour while we are often looking sideways. Remember:
  • Your balance is upset in a plane.
  • Your body is designed to travel at 4mph and … see Premium
  • Your eyes normally tell you … see Premium
Our balancing system relies on the fact that we normally point our head with the direction of the movement of our body.  If you don’t believe this try running while looking sideways, or try running sideways while looking directly ahead. You will also realize that we rely heavily on our eyesight to assist our balancing system. The balancing system is in our middle ear. To make sense of what is happening to us we compare what we see with what we feel, and this can be quite different. If you are sitting in a stationary train at a station and another train begins to move it takes a few seconds to work out whether it’s our train or the other which is moving, this is because our eyes process information before our other senses do. Our eyes have priority. In an aircraft our balancing system and our eyes are not given information that we normally use. If we’re flying in cloud, or at night, or sitting away from the window our eyes can’t tell us whether we are level or not, even worse our balancing system is upset by the movement of the aircraft so that we can’t tell us which way is up either. You could take a guess but more than likely you would be wrong.
  • Normally we can tell if something is upright or not. Although we can see what’s upright inside the plane, making sense of outside is impossible.
  • When an aircraft is in cloud … see Premium fear of flying course
  • When the aircraft is turning it has an exact angle of bank in the same way that a motorcyclist … see fear of flying Premium … even though you are turning at 600 mph.
When the aircraft is turning it makes its own gravity. For the technically minded in a commercial aircraft you won’t feel more than about 1.14 g doing this, because of restrictions on the angles of banking that we can use. The problem is that when the wings go back to the level position you won’t feel level. You’ll think you’re turning the other way! So much for turning, what about up and down? If the aircraft levels out just after take off you’ll get a distinct feeling… see fear of flying Premium on line course … and we sense this as a change from climbing to falling. When you are on a plane, accept that the movements will confuse you. It’s nothing to do with your fear of flying, everyone will feel the same thing. Don’t let the sensations upset you. There are more explanations about these things in the CD Audio Set. Don’t forget to visit our shop to get the latest and best help available to overcome your fear of flying. And don’t forget to join your social network Logbook 24/7

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