What are all those noises on board a plane?

One of the reasons our  Fear of Flying Course is so effective in overcoming the fear of flying is that you have the chance to hear those worrying noises and sounds, over and over again until you get used to them. As you know, anyone who has a fear of flying is very sensitive to the sounds on board an aircraft.

It’s also true to say that there are so many noises in the course of a flight that you can be forgiven for being alarmed. Because the sounds are unfamiliar and they occur unexpectedly, the anxious flyer will associate them with danger.

  • Unfamiliar noises are perceived by humans as dangerous.
  • Aircraft make noises that are unfamiliar to you (but not to the crew).
  • Noises in flight are normal and are not dangerous.
Remember that as an anxious flyer you will always be in a state of heightened awareness, your senses will be tuned into everything that is going on. It’s hardly surprising that the noises on board will seem to be exaggerated. You should always try to remember that the noises are appropriate to what is going on during that particular stage of  your flight.

On the ground

When you first get on board there will be a background hum from the equipment which is supplying electricity and air-conditioning. The aircraft has its own ground supply of these things from … see Premium on-line Course.
This is perfectly normal so keep reminding yourself of this. It will be useful to acclimatise yourself with sounds by listening to the audio and fear of flying videos on the site. Then when you hear them for real, they won’t seem so intimidating, and you will be starting to overcome your fear of flying. This is an essential part of your strategy for overcoming your fear of flying.

After the engineer has checked and signed for the aircraft and when the pilot is ready to start the engines, some supplies will be disconnected and you will hear the air-conditioning noises reduce. The modern jet engine takes … you will hear other pieces of electrical equipment stopping or starting. This will happen each time an engine is  started  until they are all running. While taxi-ing you’ll hear the noise of the motors that drive the flaps into position.
You’ll also hear the noise of taxiway lights as the nose wheel passes over them. When you are on a flight and these noises are distracting you, think of  the strategy (See Premium) that you have decided to use when this happens.

Airborne noises

Most anxious flyers dread the sound of take off,   (Disc 4 Part 4) … it makes them think that the engines are working too hard and might stop … nothing could be further from the truth. The engines are working well within their maximum power, despite the noise.

In flight you’ll hear the change of wind (airflow) noise as the aircraft changes speed. You’ll hear the changing engine sounds as the power settings are changed. Become familiar with these sounds … and of course knowing that they’re normal will reduce your anxiety.
When landing, the thrust reversers will add to the noise level … remember this too is perfectly normal. You can listen to some sounds of  flight by going the Premium on-line Fear of Flying Course. Do you know why the noise of the engines might suddenly increase after you’ve been flying along at cruising altitude for a long time?  Why is it worse at night?
Hear all the sounds and helpcasts we have on the site to help you to get used to them.  Our 4 CD set or instant downloadable help will provide you with over 4 hours of help and explanations including full explanations and examples of in-flight noises.
The Disc and book are both free on the Premium on-line Course site
Don’t forget to visit our shop to get the latest and best help available to overcome your fear of flying.

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