One out every 10 people fears airplanes. The sheer horror of plane crashes and the deadly destruction they leave in their path makes aviophobes question the reliability of aircraft.


True, accidents do happen, and fast. All it takes is something as simple as a seagull getting stuck and shredded in a reactor during takeoff, a deadly air hole above the ocean, a pilot’s suicide, a bombing, a crack in the body of the plane, powerful winds at landing, lightning, unexplained disappearances, a collision with a UFO…



Despite a long list of tragic accidents, hundreds of millions of flights take place each year incident-free, or simply end well. In 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency water landing on the Hudson River and all passengers and crew were safe and sound. 


In order to overcome fear of flying, nothing works better than confronting it. With anti-stress internships, you can immerse yourself in the aeronautical world where pilots, air controllers, stewards and mechanics can answer the questions that have been gnawing you forever: Can a plane fall out of the sky? What happens if a plane loses all its motors in flight? How does the plane fly during turbulence? What happens if lightning strikes the plane? What are all those noises when a plane takes off and lands?


These programs have very positive results and help you manage your fears ahead of your next flight. Air France launched immersive internships like these about 20 years ago, and still runs a program at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport. The head of the AIr France anti-stress center claims the program is 95 percent effective, from noticeable improvement to complete recovery.

But there are more affordable ways to keep your stress in check, such as the “Am I going down?” app that calculates the chances of your plane crashing. All you have to do is fill out information about your flight, with the name of the airline, the departure airport, the destination and the model of the plane. The app then calculates the odds that your flight will crash, based on plane crash records.




“The vast majority of flights are incredibly low risk. Our app is meant as tool to help reassure fearful flyers,” explains London-based company Vanilla Pixel, which created the app.

The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, which saw co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately down the plane in the French Alps, was very improbable at the outset, however.


With the FlightRadar24 website, which also has its own app, you can follow flights around the world in real time, with technical details available. Maps like these reveal that amid the huge number of flights each day, crashes are, in fact, quite rare.




There are other methods, more or less personal or irrational that work too. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with rituals and lucky charms.

Megan Fox, who admits developing a fear of flying when she was 20 years old, has a rather unique method to soothe herself: she listens to Britney Spears.”I know for a fact it’s not in my destiny to die listening to a Britney Spears album,” the American actress says. To each his own!



Another singer is apparently favored by aviophobes. British star Adel, who herself admits to have a great fear of flying, has been the subject of a serious scientific study. Indeed, her global hit “Someone LIke You” is apparently the perfect song to relax on a plane. Its slow tempo of 67 beats per minute and its harmonies help soothe tensions caused by flights.


Let’s remember that out of 3 billion passengers each year, there are less than 800 dead. The risks are rather limited. Of course, there is a blacklist of dangerous airlines regularly updated by the European Commission. And some airlines and itineraries should just plain be avoided. Plane travel remains the safest means of transportation and should be reassuring rather than scary. Here’s one more solution to make sure your fears take the backseat: travel in first class. You will feel completely safe, just like home.


The pope blesses the skies, all is well !