What you call emergencies are not what I'd call emergencies

The most important thing to know about flying is that it  is amazingly routine. In a normal career a pilot won't face more than a few minor technical hiccups. Very few experience engine problems and even fewer face 'Emergencies'. However what you describe as an emergency, would now be described by the crew as a non-normal procedure.

Non normals, not emergencies

Non normals, not emergencies

Fearful flyers imagine that flying a plane is difficult, even under normal conditions …read more about this on our on-line fear of flying course at Premium
From the start of a pilot’s career the idea of flying a plane according to the laid down procedures is emphasised, it is, after all the safest way to fly a plane. The checklists and procedures are the result of all the operators’ experiences on that plane, collected and promulgated by the manufacturer.
The most testing time for a pilot is when multiple failures occur, these … read more on fear of flying premium. The question that I am most frequently asked on this subject is: Can a plane take off if an engine stops?

Clearly it would be a crazy design if a plane couldn’t do that. From my pilot’s point of view I think about taking off, with safety in mind. I ask myself … what is the safest thing to do if something happens during the take off?
These procedures should reassure you. A fear of flying feeds on ignorance so the more you can learn about flying, the safer you will feel.
How to deal with a non-normal situation… if you have a fear of flying.
Everything that pilots do is governed by checklists. Preparing the cockpit before flight. Before starting the engines. After starting the engines. Taxi-ing. Taking off. Climbing, cruising, descending and so on. Non-normal situations (the things you call emergencies) are exactly the same. We get a warning that indicates something like ‘Left Generator Failure’  and we read and execute the ‘Left Engine Generator Failed Checklist’. Routine, part of the operating procedures and well re-hearsed.
My checklist is to:
  • Cancel the warning.
  • See our Premium on line fear of flying course
  • For example, here’s  what we do in the case of a  Rejected Take Off  (RTO)
Most people would consider that some sort of problem during take off is the most difficult for pilots to deal with. In fact like all other procedures it is remarkably routine. Common sense suggests that the best course of action would always be to stay on the ground but the fact is that this isn’t what we always do. Given the choice, all fearful flyers would take that option, but  it’s important to remember that the people least suited to give advice on emergencies are the people who are frightened of flying, so please trust our judgement. It’s a fact that after a certain speed … read more on Premium. Procedures for the pilot are simplified into actions that are:
  • Important or, less important.
  • Premium
  • Actions that one pilot takes and, actions that the co-pilot takes.
Your check list is to:
  • Read the safety pamphlet.
  • Listen to the cabin crew briefing before departure.
  • More information on our on line fear of flying course
  • See Premium
I hope this information helps you. Captain Keith
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