Fear of flying?

I don't fly. Or at least not unless it's a dire emergency. I've tried to analyse my fear and can't really pin it down. Partly it's a fear of dying prematurely under circumstances not under my control - in a car or on a bike, even in a train, I can do a lot to reduce risk and escape harm. But in a metal tube 10,000 feet up there's really nothing that can be done to prevent the plane plummeting and crashing.

As one did yesterday. And as planes do each month throughout the world, with annual fatalities well into the thousands....

Having worked in the aerospace industry I know how many things can actually go wrong. And the thought of being in a fly-by-wire aircraft with computers in (more or less) complete control just scares me rigid. Remember the near fatal 777 crash at Heathrow a month or so back when the computers failed and the plane plummeted?

Add to that my gut feeling that man was not meant to fly. And just don't get me started on helicopters. And don't even breathe the name 'Chinook' or 'Osprey', technical novelties that put so much stress on the underlying engineering that it's a miracle the planes stay in the air for more than a few minutes at a time.....


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