Spectators Balcony (Spotters Corner)If you're not a professional pilot but want to discuss issues about the job, this is the best place to loiter. You won't be moved on by 'security' and there'll be plenty of experts to answer any questions.
I had my first and only helicopter ride just over 12 months ago. The jolly, over and around The Bungle Bungles, was in a 4 seater with no doors. I didn't feel at all comfortable looking straight down ~ 500'and spent most of the flight, checking & double checking and so on, my seat belt!
I think there's a difference between vertigo and fear of heights- isn't vertigo where you feel an urge to jump off tall buildings etc? Not that anyone would ever do it... the majority of sufferers are perfectly sane (in a surreal sense of the word).
I suffer a bit from this. Looking down Vic falls bridge, I wondered what it would be like to jump off... so I tried (albeit attached to a piece of elastic )
The wierdest thing though is when I developed a fear of flying... happened after I'd done my ME training, and flew SE solo for the first time in about 20 flying hours. I did not feel safe... in fact, I felt really uncomfortable. The type of uncomfortable one feels when one is crawling through a tight, muddy passage in one of the Yorkshire Dales's smallest, grottiest caves.
Forward flight at any height - no problem, hovering at any height - no problem, roped to the outside then abseiling from 200' - no problem, parachuting - no problem; but if any part of the a/c touches terra firma whilst my side is still over a 4000'+ drop then I start to feel a bit weird. I can't rationalise it, but that's the way it is!
Sitting in the back of a car i feel sick,you will not get me to walk to the edge of a cliff or tall building for anything,i hate glass lifts,tall bridges,etc,but.....
Sitting in a cockpit spinning from 10000'- brilliant,falling out of a loop-NO Problem,winching down a cliff,great fun,abseiling over a buildng i'm your man, hovering with an underslung load over a 1000' cliff-easy,
Why ? i dont know,maybe its the security blanket effect,the need to hold onto something,being in control.
What a sensitive nerve I've hit on approaching the subject. It's the first time I've thought about Deepbuffet's theory of the fear of falling. This makes perfect sense. The feeling of looking over the edge of a cliff lying flat on the top isn't the same as going over it strapped to a rope. The feeling of security being strapped on to "something" overwhelmes the fright of heights.
So here's one: Do you ever think of the dope and fabric and few rivets and bolts holding the Cubs, Citabrias and Pitts together?
And another thing, all kinds of phobias interest me. Fear of flying isn't related to fear of heights - but when flying low with my wife for one of the first times, she told me that she found it uncomfortable. I didn't notice, but understood. I had a fear of heights until age 17 when working at a construction site, where I had to go 6 stories on outside platforms. Cured me for good.
Yup, me too. The only time I had the fear in a flying machine was the first few feet in a hot-air balloon - as soon as I was clear of the treetops I was OK. I echo Slasher's post: 737 - good, ladder - bad.
Bizarre. I thought it was just me! I can't bring myself to ride my bike over the Dartford Bridge (I can just about get myself to drive over in the car), yet the other day I was quite happily doing a tight turn over it at 1500' whilst looking down the wing and thinking 'there's that bridge I can't ride over'.
A theory I heard about fear of heights v's flying is that with a tall building, cliff etc you have a visible vertical connection with the ground. Thus you get a sense of height/distance. With an aeroplane there is no such "connection". The only time you may get it is if you look at the down going wing during a steep turn. (Not that you should be looking there any way!) Cheers
Glad I'm not the only one... FL's good, roof of house NO way! Much as I hate to admit it, I developed a fear of flying during the solo consolidation portion of my course.(53 hrs P1 required)This occured at approx. 25 hrs, and was tremendously confidence/soul destroying for a few hours of flying, and yet the problem disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. I still havn't worked out why it occured.
Whew, I thought it was just me. Absolutely no problem in an aircraft, but try and get me to clean the gutters. The airport at HSP (Hot Springs VA) is on top of a butte, they just graded the top off the mountain and laid the asphalt, as it were. The drop offs on either end must be nearly a thousand feet down to the valley floor. On departure out of there once, just as we flew over the end of the runway, I glanced outside. The sensation was hard to describe, but it was like losing all vertical reference. I could relate to the aircraft climbing, but not the ground falling away. I gave control to the FO, and it took me several minutes before I felt well enough to resume flying. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before?
pigboat, yes I get it sometimes to a lesser degree if flying low over mountains in a helicopter. Happened last week between Swansea and Cardiff. The valleys heading north from Cardiff are very steepsided, and when I went from being less then 500 feet above the ground (avoiding low cloud, and no people etc so not breaking any rules) to being about 1500 ft agl - ooooo...felt very strange, didn't like it at all. It was, as you say, the ground falling away that was the problem, as vertical take-offs in a helicopter are lots of fun and don't bother me. Very odd.
------------------ To fly is human, to hover, divine.
And I thought I was the only one! My friends find it most amusing that I am scared of heights! Tall buildings, ladders etc. But I regularly go rock climbing so this backs up the theory of feeling safe because I am secure on the other end of a rope.
Went on a romantic weekend to Paris once. Had to the let my girlfriend go up the Eiffel Tower on her own. Funnily enough, we split up shortly after that....!
Yes - flying low over a cliff, where the ground "falls" is one of the greatest kicks. I have the urge to let passengers enjoy the feeling with me. Unfortunatly they sometimes don't. The same ones usually have a problem with an unsuspected roll
Deepbuffet-the theory is correct;regards the fear is really all about falling.My doctor explained it the very same way to me,and also saod that it was a form of vertigo.I still havent conquered it yet and feel very funny when i see peolple on scaffolds etc,but have almost learned to live with it....i say almost! Here i go again ...flight level 350 capt?...no probs!
I'm the same as everyone else, flying no problem, top of a tall ladder, a bit queasy.
One thing not recommended for the fear of heights is going to the very top of the Eiffel Tower. Nothing but passing girders as you go up in the lift, its especially bad if you happen to be squashed in nearest the doors with the large glass windows. I had my eyes closed most of the way up!
I'm not a pilot, but my job does involve a lot of jump-seating , postioning and I've sat in on a few C of A tests. Love every minute of it. Spent a weekend in HAM recently. My girlfriend was as nervous as usual on the flight over. We visited a funpark whilst there. She had great fun on the bigwheel. I sat gripping the sides ready to fill my underwear! Weird. I agree it's the mind playing tricks. With you guys could also be a control thing as well. For example I once heard of a pilot who was a very nervous FLYER if he wasn't the one up front watching the dials!