LIKE all modes of transport, air travel has its dangers – and for some people, the fear of what could happen is enough to leave them shaking like a leaf on a flight.
But if you’re someone with a strong phobia of flying, take comfort in the knowledge that your concerns are far more irrational than you think.
Getty – Contributor A number of common flying myths are actually easily debunked
Therapist Christopher Paul Jones has taken on ten of the most common myths about air travel, to prove nervous flyers they don’t need to worry.
Christopher, also referred to as “The Breakthrough Expert”, specialises in helping people overcome their biggest fears and anxieties.
From the chance of a crash to misconceptions about turbulence, read on to see the most common fears with stone cold facts…
Myth 1: Flying is dangerous
Getty – Contributor Flying can occasionally be dangerous, but it is far safer than driving
It is reasonable to think that hurtling through the air at 500mph, 36,000ft off the ground would be dangerous, but in reality, air travel is actually far safer than modes of transport on the ground.
According to Christopher, the odds of you dying in a plane crash are one in 11 million.
Myth 2: It does happen to somebody
The unfortunate reality is that plane crashes do still happen – and someone will always be affected, but you would have to be incredibly unlucky to be caught in one.
Christopher says that if you use logic to qualify your fear of dying in a plane accident, then logically you should be 220 times more concerned about dying in a car crash.
Even sleeping is more dangerous – you are five times more likely to die in your bed than you are up in the air.
Myth 3: If an aeroplane crashes it’s over
Getty – Contributor Just because a plane comes down doesn’t mean certain tragedy
You have a 95.7 per cent chance of walking away from a plane crash.
Most passengers survive crashes because skilled pilots are able to bring the aircraft back to ground with exceptional precision and safety.
Myth 4: The airline companies aren’t affected if we crash
A single jumbo jet costs a commercial airline around £100million – so if the plane goes down, so do their profits.
Not to mention the millions of pounds in compensation that has to be set aside for survivors and the families of victims.
So it doesn’t make sense to think that a company wouldn’t take every precaution possible to avoid one of their planes crashing.
Myth 5: Turbulence is dangerous
Getty – Contributor Turbulence is just your plane travelling through “choppy” pockets of air – and your pilot is entirely ready for it
Even the most experienced flyers have been unnerved by a hefty bout of turbulence, but it doesn’t actually increase the odds of a crash.
The bumps are just your plane travelling through “choppy” pockets of air – and your pilot is entirely ready for it.
According to Patrick Smith from Ask The Pilot, the number of jetliner crashes caused by turbulence, even indirectly, can be counted on one hand.
Myth 6: If an engine fails the plane will fall from the sky
Getty – Contributor An aircraft is actually just a big glider, meaning it can easily be flown and landed without an engine
The engine cutting out mid-flight is surely one of the most terrifying aeroplane nightmares around.
But Christopher points that an aircraft is actually just a big glider, meaning it can easily be flown and landed without an engine.
While it is impossible for your pilot to get the plane off the ground without an engine, landing without one is a far simpler task.
Myth 7: Lightning can bring down a plane
Your plane being brought down by a bolt of lightning is more likely Hollywood fantasy than reality.
Christopher claims that no modern plane has ever been brought down by lightning, as current aircraft are designed to withstand a lightning strike.
Myth 8: The wing of the plane might fall off
Getty – Contributor All wings are stress tested before a plane is even allowed to ever take flight
The chance of a plane’s wing falling off on its own mid-flight is close to zero.
All wings are stress tested before a plane is even allowed to ever take flight, so if it was going to fall off, it would happen on the safety of the ground.
Boeing has a ‘wing flex test’ where the wings of a Boeing 787 flexed upwards by 25 feet, proving that they can handle up to 150 per cent movement during the most extreme eventualities.
Myth 9: Worrying keeps me in control and prepares me for the ‘what if’
Getty – Contributor Stress is actually more of a risk to your healthy than flying
The Breakthrough Expert says that it is completely irrational to try to control every element of your life – and doing so can lead to dangerously high stress levels.
One in every three people has a heart attack because of stress and worry, so you are actually far more likely to die worrying about plane crashes than in one.