Well we finally left Japan. As I write this we are flying hundreds of feet up in the air on a path to Manila.
I mentioned in a previous post that we had been redirected back to Osaka, which turned out to be because of a faulty windscreen wiper. The wiper wouldn’t stop and the plane couldn’t pick up speed because of it. I’m not the best when it comes to flying. I loooove travel, exploring and even airports but as soon as I’m in a airplane I get nervous sweats and a knot in my stomach.
I never use to be afraid of flying but as I get older I think the logic has started to set in ‘this metal machine should definitely not be up here’ . I know the statistics and I understand that flying is stupidly safe compared to almost all other transport but I can’t help but get the shakes.
But since there is no way I’m going to stop traveling and the further away somewhere is the more exciting it seems, I have tried to combat the nervous and I though I’d share some things that have helped me along the way.
1. Planes are checked in detail repeatedly before take off. Lee’s dad is an Aeronautical engineer (yep, as snazzy as it sounds) and my mum has been in the RAF (royal Air Force) and worked in air traffic control ..can you see where our travel bugs may come from? Anyway, they have both assured me time and time again of the rigors safety procedures that every person must go through when working on/in/near planes. It definitely helps hearing the minute details they have to check before anyone even thinks about stepping aboard.
Yesterday, for instance we had to go back to the Japanese airport, have a full check of the plane by engineers, have ANOTHER check and wait for the expects at the airport we were landing in to see if they agreed with the findings, as well as the people who made the plane originally in France. Now that’s precision . Unfortunately, this meant we waited for 6 hours and then were told our flight wouldn’t be until the next day but at least we know it’s 100% fine and dandy.
2. Sit near/on the wing for less turbulence. I am not exactly sure of the science but basically, the wings stabilize the plane and the ends are built to adjust so the middle shakes less… That sounded sciencey right?
3. If you are sat next to the wing, expect to look out and see the wings shaking. Wings are made to bend and flex. They shaking around in bad weather is stopping you having to shake so much.
4. Scary sounds before landing and after take off are normal. Most of the noise is the wheels going in and out if the plane so don’t worry.
5. The best piece of advice I ever heard though was recently from Lee. He said that if you are in a jeep or car on rough terrain you expect it to bounce around like crazy. Same goes for a speed boat. Bumps in the air are like small bumps in the road. They are nothing to worry about.
As well as tips for flying I also have a few helpful hints for when your ears won’t pop. I get horrible ear ache from complications when I was younger so the pressure of flying opens up the old scars on my ear drums and causes horrible pain….come to think of it, this may also be why I am not the best flyer…. It’s a condition called ‘airplane ear’ inventive name hey! What I’ve done to help elevate the pain is :
. Suck sweets
. Swallow lots
. Open your mouth as if yawning
.wear pressurized ear plugs. You can get these in most pharmacists. Just wear them before the cabin pressurizes and an hour before you land. Holding my ear and sinuses down hard often stops it hurting a little.
. But the best way to help the real pain is take a pain killer an hour before I board (& land if it’s a long flight) and also a antihistamine . Antihistamines basically dry up your head and stop their being a lot of liquid near your ears to build pressure.
Doing all this things still only stops the pain a little , especially on short flights that climb quickly , but they do help.
So those are the few things I’ve learnt to think about to put my mind at ease and stop discomfort . If you have any more problems please email me and I can get back to you because I know how horrible a little niggling worry can upset your holiday. I’m not an expert but a friendly ear.
And as my Aunty Pat always says, if it’s your time to go , it’s your time to go….. But what if it’s the pilots time to go? Just kidding ^^