Fear of flying; fascination with missing plane

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I’ve never been a terrible flyer — no nausea, white knuckles or panic attacks — but I’ve never enjoyed it. Forget the uncomfortable seats, cramped spaces and rude passengers; I’m not a fan of flying in a large metal tube thousands of feet above the ground.

I’ve said before that heights are my biggest fear. So it isn’t much of a stretch to believe that I’m afraid of flying. Turbulence makes me nervous, along with just about every other noise a plane makes.

So, I’ve been watching with interest (and despair) the news reports regarding the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing. Those searching for the plane don’t know where to look and speculation seems to be the only thing left for people to do. They went off course here, not there. They kept flying for hours after communications stopped. Terrorism. Mechanical problems. Aliens even. Who knows?

Yet somehow I can’t take my eyes away from the news reports that flood the news networks, newspapers and the Internet.

I feel for the grieving families and fear for those who were on the plane. Not because I know any of them personally, or have any false sense of belief that I can help them, but because I fear that it could be me someday.

Each time I get on a plane, the worst goes through my head. I’m not sure why, maybe mental preparation? When I was younger, my family went on a vacation and we flew there. I don’t remember where we were going, but I remember looking up at the TV in the terminal and watching a news report on a plane crash.

I was petrified.

On another vacation, the flight we were on went straight through a thunderstorm. I swear the lightning outside was so close I could touch it. Each clap of thunder shook the plane like a baby’s rattle. Or, at least that is what I recall.

The delays, canceled flights and other traveling inconveniences never bothered me as much as they seemed to bother others. I think I was happy to keep my feet on the ground just a little bit longer.

But in the meantime, I’ll keep watching the news reports. I’ll keep hoping the folks on that plane are OK — despite waning hopes and increasing fears.


By |March 14th, 2014|

About the Author:

Kristen Czaban joined The Sheridan Press staff in 2008 and covered beats including local government, cops and courts and the energy industry. In 2012, she was promoted and now serves as the managing editor for The Press. Czaban has a journalism degree from Northwestern University.