NYC Airplane Crash Reminds Us of Fear of Flying

airplaneI read about the New York City airplane crash an hour ago, and I thought it was a joke. A plane went down in the Hudson River, just 10 miles from my house, because it hit a flock of birds?

But it's not a joke--it's the terrifying truth. US Airways Flight 1549 had more than 150 people aboard when it took off at NYC's LaGuardia Airport. After a bird strike--that's when a flock of birds gets sucked into the jet--It went down in the Hudson River just a few miles away. We are lucky for the good news in this story: Everyone is alive.

After hitting the birds, and smelling smoke, the pilot tried to get back to the airport. He didn't make it, but he landed miraculously in the Hudson. People were rescued in rafts.

Cafe MicheleZ was a particularly freaked out New Yorker today. She, like up to 60 million people, experience some degree of fear of flying. She shares with us how she's feeling this afternoon.


Cafe Kristen : Why are you scared of flying?
Cafe MicheleZ: I live in NYC and flew to San Francisco and back a couple of days before 9/11/2001. It was a turbulent flight and very scary. The turbulence lasted for what seemed like a long time, but I think it was about 30 minutes. Then the terrorist attack happened, and my fear of flying got worse. At the time, I had a job that required me to travel a lot, and I have my superstitious rituals I must do before I board a plane. If I told you what they were everyone would make fun of me, but they help…a little. Then two years ago I had another scary plane moment-–it felt as if the plane dropped just as the pilot said we were preparing for landing. Apparently there was a massive wind gust that caused the plane to do this.
CK: Do you have trouble flying?
CMZ: I have a lot of trouble flying. In fact, if a trip is 10 hours or less, I prefer to drive if I have extra time. But my in-laws live in Louisiana and Alabama, so I have to fly. My doctor prescribed me Xanax for flying. It does help-–just makes me go to sleep. But then I am super groggy and cranky when I arrive, and it takes me a while to shake it off. My sister-in-law, who is also scared of flying, told me a little known fact that helped her: More people are killed on escalators than in planes. I have no idea if that is true or not, but soon after she told me, I was on an escalator and kind of freaked out. Just kidding, but interesting if true, right?
CK: How do you feel about this crash?
CMZ: I am freaked out about this crash-–any crash I hear about affects me. But the pilot landed in the Hudson River and not into the buildings of Manhattan-–he or she saved a lot of people. I’m just praying everyone is okay. I work in Manhattan, and the entire city is engulfed with the sounds of sirens. My husband works near the Hudson River and says there are helicopters and boats all heading north toward where the plane is floating.

Wow. I would be freaked out too, Cafe MicheleZ, if I were right there in the thick of things. I hope you are and your DH are able to get home safely tonight. MinnieMouse8 is also very afraid to fly. In her journal post, she says she hasn't flown in 3 years, and she has to go on a trip at the end of January.

Are you afraid to fly? Especially after today's plane crash? Do you have any tips for CafeMoms who fear flying?

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