Get Rid of Your Fear of Flying - Lars Toldbo - ebook

Get Rid of Your Fear of Flying ebook

Lars Toldbo

60,17 zł


If you belong to the 20 percent of people who suffer from flight anxiety, here is some really good news: Former nervous flyer and now pilot and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, Lars Toldbo of Fit2fly, has written this inspiring, practical and easy to read book to help anxious flyers overcome their fear of flying. You will be taken through everything from gate to gate; what is happening and why, all the sounds and movements during taxi, takeoff, climb, cruise, approach, landing, and goaround. You will learn about the demands placed on pilots, aircraft, air traffic controllers, cabin attendants, and how aircraft work. In short understand all the requirements and checks that are in place to give us all safe flights. The nervous flyer has a lot of "what-if"-questions. Those will be answered - from turbulence to engine failure. When nervous flyers get real information and facts about flying, they usually stop showing their horror movies of flying on their inner, mental screen. The book also helps nervous flyers to change their negative thoughts to resourceful ones by using effective NLP techniques and offers several methods to relax before and during a flight. If you look for answers to questions like "what if an engine fails?", or "what if the oxygen masks fall?", or "can the wings break off?" or "what if the captain gets ill?", "what happens if lightning hits the aircraft?", or... then you have come to the right place.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi lub dowolnej aplikacji obsługującej format:


Liczba stron: 176

To my daughter, Christina Toldbo.

Thank you for your great effort, constructive comments and support!



How Do I Know?

Twenty Percent of People Suffer from Flight Anxiety

What Do I Know?

What Happens When You Get Nervous?

The Need to Create Meaning

The Risk of Flying is Distorted

A Friend Called Amygdala

From Gate to Gate

Before Takeoff

How Much Fuel Shall be on an Aircraft?

Exterior Inspection

Technical Logbook*

Duplication of Critical Functions

No Shortcuts

Getting Ready at the Gate

Boarding Completed

Cabin Crew Arm Doors and Cross-check

Sounds before Taxiing

Vapor in the Cabin

Calculated Takeoff Time

Passenger Safety Briefing

Engines Being Started

Pushback from the Gate

Checklist and Clearance for Taxi

De-icing and Anti-icing*

Holding Point* and Runway in Use



How Do We Fly?


Thunder and Lightning




Go-around/Missed Approach

What Does It Take?

Construction and Tests of Aircraft




Cabin Attendants

Air Traffic Controllers

How Safe is Extremely Safe?

What if?

What if the Tail Hits the Runway during Takeoff or Landing?

What if an Engine Fails during Takeoff?

What if an Engine Fails during Cruise?

What if All Engines Stop en Route?

What if the Gear Can’t be Extended?

What if We Must Return Right after Departure?

What if the Flaps Can´t Be Extended before Landing?

What if the Aircraft Stalls?

What if the Wings Break Off?

What if the Oxygen Masks Fall?

What if the Runway is too Short for Landing?

What if We Hit Another Aircraft in Midair?

What if We Fly into a Mountain or Another Obstacle?

What if a Passenger Tries to Open a Door during Flight?

What if Someone Gets Ill on Board?


How to Use NLP to Enjoy Flying

Anchoring — the Moving of Resources

Reprogram Your Mind to Enjoy Flying 1

Reprogram Your Mind to Enjoy Flying 2

Stop Anxiety

Postpone Your Worries

Write Down Your Worries

Aero Anxiety Relief

The Rubber Band

Tighten and Relax

Create Oxytocin (Anti-anxiety Hormone)

The Little Meditation

Plan in Advance

Be More Comfortable

Cabin Pressure

Ear Ache

Sinus Pain

Barotraumas of the Teeth

Motion Sickness

Food and Beverage

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Carry on



Aborted Takeoff


Aircraft Flight Manual/Flight Crew Operations Manual







Cabin Pressure


De-icing and Anti-icing



Faraday Cage




Flight Deck

Flight Level

Flight Management System

Fuel Jettison System

Go-Around/Missed Approach


Holding Point

ILS/Localizer/Glide Slope

ISA/International Standard Atmosphere

Knot (KTS)



Nautical Mile


Navigation Plan/Flight Plan

Pilot-Flying/Pilot Not-Flying

Proficiency Check/Skill Test









Standard English Phraseology


Technical Logbook

Thrust/Thrust Levers

Transition Altitude



Type Rating

"Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change"

- Wayne Dyer



This book contains four parts. The first part briefly reviews the response pattern of your brain and body, why you become afraid, and what you can do differently to avoid it. Part two examines the flight from gate-to-gate. The third part answers all the what-if questions that you and other nervous passengers share. The fourth part introduces you to Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and helps you to use two effective NLP techniques, which together with the other relaxation techniques in the book can make you relax and enjoy the flight.

You will find detailed explanation in the glossary of the words marked *

If you go to and click on ‘Video/Audio’ on the topbar, you will see a list of videos from gate-to-gate together with related explanations and the NLP audio instructions.


The engine stopped working with a big bang, and the aircraft immediately fell out of the sky like a stone. I could hear The Doors playing “This is the End” in the background. Some passengers were screaming, others praying, and the aircraft was just a few seconds from creating a big hole in the ground. In the distance, I could hear a ringing, then a short pause and a new and louder ringing, and suddenly I realized that the sound came from my alarm. Another nightmare about flying had luckily been brought to an end.

These horror movies are shown over and over again. Not only when asleep, but also when totally awake. Some anxious flyers begin to play these movies on their inner screen as soon as somebody talks about travel to destinations reachable only by aircraft. For others, the movie begins when they see an aircraft or an ad for an airline company. Some wait to show the horror movie to themselves closer to the time of departure, when arriving at the airport, for instance.

Irrespective of the timing, seeing this inner movie creates a lot of tension, anxiety, and often panic for the person in question. The more often the movie is shown, the worse the feeling and the greater the need to get away from the thing that creates this terrible feeling.

How Do I Know?

Well, for a beginning, I suffered many years — until 1998 — from severe flight anxiety. I was working as a consultant and assisting clients with their international business. This involved a lot of travel and was a very difficult combination for me to manage.

At first, I managed to get on board the aircraft despite of my great discomfort in doing so. Some days before departure, my mind started to play tricks on me, showing me all the horror scenarios related to flying. The closer to departure, the worse it got. I was exhausted when I finally got to my destination.

It got worse each trip. The feelings of being sad, overwhelmed by anxiety, angry with myself for my inability to control my feelings — apparently unlike everyone else on the aircraft, were tiresome, as was my anger over giving up on a lot of opportunities and limiting myself.

On the plane, I was so scared and used so much energy to stay in control that I could not eat, read a paper or a book, or even look out the window. I preferred not to converse with anyone. Sleeping on a long-haul flight was, of course, not an option.

Every sound and every movement of the aircraft impacted me. What was that sound? Was it a normal sound? Was there anyone else in the cabin reacting to this? After a few minutes, since we were still flying, I hoped that it was an ordinary sound without safety implications. But then a new sound or even worse — turbulence — would capture my full attention.

As a true flight anxiety person, I knew in detail about every accident and incident in aviation during the last decades. The sounds and movements of the aircraft that I did not understand only compounded the anxiety and created out-of-this-world horror movies that I projected on my inner screen.

It got to a point where I stopped flying for about 10 years. It was simply not an option for me anymore. Taking the train from Copenhagen to Paris or Barcelona for a meeting was a very long trip but far better than spending a few hours in the air.

At the same time, I was disappointed with myself for not being able to solve the problem. I told myself many times that next time I would fly. But when I got closer to the departure date, the more attractive the other options seemed, and I fled and took the train, ferry, or car to get to the next meeting.

I was headhunted for an exciting and handsomely paid top international job and had to turn it down only because of my flight anxiety. To put it mildly, I was enormously disappointed with myself, and I realized that I had to do something very different if I were not to allow my mind to work contrary to my wishes.

I needed to think and act differently to overcome my flight anxiety. Every time I fled from flying, the more difficult it became to overcome the problem.

My big problem at the time was that I did not know what else to do. I went down the trial-and-error road, each time with high hopes that the next method would be the right ‘cure’ for me. Hypnotherapy, acupuncture, studying literature about aircraft and flying, a flight anxiety course. You name it, I tried it!

Each method seemed to be of great value during the treatment, but the effect did not last very long and disappeared when the next possibility for flying arose. Then I was back to square one and with a new defeat. As said, I found a way to get rid of my flight anxiety in 1998. I remember the year clearly as it was a very special occasion for me.

We all have our special background and history. Some have never flown before, others do it often but with some or great discomfort, others have flown before but suddenly it became a problem. Some have one or more small children and since they were born one or both parents have developed a flight anxiety as they ask themselves: “Who should take care of my child/children if I’m killed in an aircraft accident?” Others are so scared of flying that flying is not an option.

Twenty Percent of People Suffer from Flight Anxiety

If you suffer from flight anxiety, you are not alone. It is said that about 20 percent of people suffer from flight anxiety, ranging from discomfort to intense fear of flying, or — as evil tongues put it — fear of not flying. Typically, the sight of the plane, the sounds and movements of the aircraft, turbulence, the lack of control, and the limited space trigger the discomfort or anxiety.

Some fear all the phases of flying, others are mostly scared during the takeoff- and climb phases but are more at ease during the rest of the flight. Almost everyone fears turbulence.

Many fearful passengers have rituals before and during the flight to try to control their fear and fate. Some bring lucky charms on board, some ask for a special seat, say a prayer, donate money to the needy, or negotiate with God: “If you let me survive this flight, I promise in return to behave better.”

Regardless of your specific situation, I’m sure that I can help you feel better about flying. Maybe you will even begin to enjoy flying.

Since I got rid of my own flight anxiety, I have examined the possibilities for most effectively helping others to get rid of their fear of flying.

I launched my Flight Anxiety Courses two years ago, and I have seen much evidence that my method is effective and provides long-lasting results. I think I am also a good example that you can escape your fear of flying and come to enjoy flying if you do the right things in the right way. Luckily, you do not have to spend a lot of time and money making the same errors that I did. Just follow my program and enjoy the result.

After getting rid of my flight anxiety, I started training as a pilot while working as a consultant and, after a couple of years, I completed the training and was a PILOT. That was another milestone for me.

To succeed, in my opinion, you need relevant and correct information about flying. But this alone is not enough. You must also have the means to replace your incorrect and useless mental images associated with flying with resourceful images that will support you before and during the flight. To this end, NLP is a very effective tool and, as a certified NLP practitioner and coach, I have incorporated this tool in the program.

What Do I Know?

There are many providers in the ‘flight anxiety’ market, and some are doing a good job. But to my knowledge, my program is unique in that there are no other programs offered today that are built on a deep understanding of the emotions and fears that a person with fear of flying experiences and that are combined with the knowledge of a trained pilot augmented by effective NLP tools.

This book will take you through what happens on the ground and in the air during a flight, beginning with the crew checks and not ending until you leave the aircraft at your destination. I will also tell you about all the other relevant functions carried out to give you a safe flight, including maintenance, training of mechanics, flight crew, and air traffic controllers. I will explain the most important rules everyone in this business must adhere to always.

My objective is not to train you as a pilot but to give you sufficient information so you can relax next time you fly.

I will give you useful information about all the sounds and movements during a flight. When you have relevant and correct information about a flight (which you seldom obtain from reading the news or watching TV), it will be difficult for you to create internal horror movies as by then you will know that your fantasies and imagination have run wild and you have tricked yourself into believing in scenarios that are not possible. With correct information and some training, you can stop this from happening.

I will answer all the questions I imagine you could possibly have in relation to normal- and emergency procedures. You will see video clips from the flight deck* from pushback* at the gate to taxi, takeoff, climb, cruise, approach, and landing, with my comments to explain what the pilots and air traffic controllers are doing and why. (See – Video)

I will help you find the context and the exact trigger that release your fear, and I will help you to formulate an outcome that will be so much more helpful for you in future. It is all about using techniques from neuro-linguistic programming to replace your present scary and unhelpful mental images with resourceful mental images that really can support you.

In a way, you are in your comfort zone when you are afraid of flying. You are used to this situation and you use this attitude to protect yourself from the imagined danger. So, changing this situation can make you anxious.

This occurs, firstly, because when you try something different there is always a risk that you may not succeed, at least not the first time. Secondly, and a bit harder to understand, is the fact that if you succeed — with your present state of mind — you can easily be on an aircraft. However, now that your fear has gone, you also lose your former protection from the perceived dangerous flight. So, for some, it is, at the outset, a lose-lose situation. Just accept these feelings and get involved with the program. Your situation will hardly get worse, and there is a great chance that you will learn to relax and even enjoy your next flights.

Learning new things often involves smaller set-backs. Regarding fear, it is important to be able to stop nervous thoughts from developing as they tend to take control very quickly and put your rational brain out of the game. I will give you tools that you can use after some training at home. These are tools you can use immediately, if — before or during a flight — you feel the fear beginning to build. By using these tools, you will be in a good position to deal with the fear and stop it before it immobilizes you.

To make it work for you, it is extremely important that you have practiced the methods beforehand to know them by heart so that you use them from the very moment you might feel the nervousness building up.

Let’s get started!

What Happens When You Get Nervous?

When you experience something that threatens you — real or imaginary — it is your instinct either to flee to avoid the danger or to fight it. Either way, you go into survival mode to deal with the danger.

Unfortunately, your brain cannot distinguish between real and perceived danger. Your brain and body react to the stimuli that they are exposed to. So, when you tell yourself that it is dangerous to fly, your organism reacts perfectly well and fast to help you avoid or fight this danger. In fact, you have a great friend who is trying to prevent you from harming yourself and wants to help you to survive.

To survive, your brain and body need all the energy you can create at the right places in your organism to avoid or fight the danger. The body is activated, so we can act. Sugar and fat are released to the muscles, blood pressure and heart rate increase, and blood is sent from the intestines to the muscles.

To understand the acute stress reaction, there are three systems in the body that are stimulated: 1) the hormones, 2) the nervous system, and 3) the immune system.

The hormones are chemical substances that are released into the blood from glands and affect the tissues and organs. The adrenal glands are hormone-producing glands that produce both adrenaline hormone and cortisol hormone.

Neil Shearing, a PhD in human biology, mentions in his book “Fear of Flying” that adrenaline has a biological half-life of two minutes and after four minutes only a quarter of the released stress hormone will be active. Biological half-life is the time it takes the body to reduce the effect of the substance by half.

We know that anxiety wears off if you can commit yourself to staying in the anxiety-provoking situation for a little while and expose yourself to whatever frightens you. Committing yourself to staying in the frightening situation will reduce the level of anxiety very quickly.

Adrenaline prepares our body physically and psychologically to deal with stressful conditions by, among other things, increasing the heart’s pumping capacity. Cortisol has a wide range of effects on our metabolism. Cortisol releases energy to the body by transforming fat to sugar and stimulates the immune system to redirect the white blood cells from the blood into tissues where they help fight infections.

Our autonomic nervous system is made up of two parts, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

The sympathetic nervous system is our ‘accelerator’ that causes the body to speed up and get ready for action. It releases the hormones noradrenaline and adrenaline. The parasympathetic nervous system is our ‘brake’, it causes the body to relax and is activated when we relax, sleep, eat, and meditate.

When the hormones are released, your body goes on alert, and you sense this reaction mentally and physically. Your heart starts pounding, you get sweaty hands, upset stomach, increased urge to urinate, nausea, and dizziness. You become tense, sad, or even angry.

The reaction pattern is natural and predictable. However, the problem arises when the perceived danger is non-existent, or the real danger is much less than perceived. In these cases, where the response is inadequate, it is counteractive to your wishes and your ability to fulfill your dreams and potential.

You might be afraid of the symptoms and afraid of being afraid or even afraid of becoming mad or insane. This, of course, triggers your instinct to flee. However, this is not an option in an aircraft. Maybe you feel lightheaded because more blood is being sent to the muscles to prepare yourself for flight or fight.

Sometimes, anxiety attacks can lead to hyperventilation. Breathing gradually and unnoticeably becomes faster and one may experience shortness of breath. In trying to compensate for this, the affected person breathes faster, causing the body’s pH to increase, which produces bodily symptoms such as tingling in the fingers, earlobes, cheeks, or lips.

Quite naturally these symptoms frighten the affected person. An attack can last from minutes to hours, depending on the degree of hyperventilation.

After completing this program, this situation should not be an issue for you. However, to make sure that you know how to deal with it — which reduces your fear of flying — the following advice is useful:

Persuade yourself to breathe calmly, even if you experience air hunger. If the attack continues, you should breathe in a bag held loosely in front of your mouth. In this way, some of the extra carbon dioxide you have exhaled through your superficial and rapid breathing is inhaled. This restores the pH of your blood to normal levels, and the symptoms disappear quickly.

The Need to Create Meaning