A British cargo pilot has been helping followers with a fear of flying by dispensing some no-nonsense tips and insider information from the cockpit.
Murray is based in the Coventry area and, according to LinkedIn, flies cargo planes for CargoLogicAir, a British company based at Heathrow.
Since then, the social-savvy aviator has gone on to answer dozens of specific questions from followers around everything from unexpected technical issues, such as the landing gear failing, to which bit of the plane to sit in to feel less turbulence.
Here are Murray’s top tips for generally easing anxiety around flying:
1. Write it all down
“The first thing I’d recommend doing is writing a list – write down everything that makes you worried, anxious or scared. Then cross through everything that you have no control over, and focus on the things that you have. It’s important to familiarise yourself with what’s going to happen on the day. If you’ve got a plan in place, you feel a bit more in control.”
2. Educate yourself
“I’d go on Youtube, I’d watch some videos on ‘How do planes fly?’ Understanding the basics, I think, will help. Watch some videos on take-off and landing – cockpit view, so you can see what the boys and girls [flying the plane] are doing – so when you’re in the back and it’s all happening, you kind of know what’s happening. That will help you out.”
3. Choose your seat wisely
“You can go to SeatGuru, check out the seating plan of the aircraft and pick where the best places to sit are. If you’re an anxious or claustrophobic person, I’d recommend going for an aisle seat – that way you’ve got nobody blocking you in, and when the seatbelt signs are switched off, you can go for a walk, [do some] breathing exercises – hopefully that will calm you down.”
4. Get a preview
“Try to get a picture of the cabin that you’re going to be flying in as well, familiarise yourself with the cabin so that when you step on board, it’s not the first time you’ve seen it. It’ll make you feel a little bit better.”
5. Dodge disaster films
“Limit the air crash invest videos or any vid or films with plane crashes in them, this ain’t gonna do you any favours.”
6. You’re far safer than in a car
“A couple of facts for you – you’re more likely to be hit by a car or die in a car crash than by flying – it’s one in 17,000 [for a] fatality in a car and one in 287 million if you fly in a plane. Now, [dying from being hit by] lightning is one in 90 million – the odds are pretty good.”
7. Don’t hit the booze too hard
“When you get on the plane, you can have a couple of alcoholic drinks – try and limit these because at altitude, the drinks will affect you more. Drop a couple of Kalms, maybe, or distract yourself with a film or some of your favourite music.”
8. Book a fear of flying course
“A few of my followers have been commenting about these and they say they’re pretty good, but from a pilot point of view, I’m in the simulator twice a year doing training and checking. When we fly, I do a walk-around of the plane before departure – the engineer also does one, more in-depth – and every 24 and 48 hours, the aeroplane is checked. They are very well maintained, and we are very well trained.”
“Also flight crew and cabin crew are more than happy to answer your questions,” commented Murray on his own post.