First Class Party for Pupil Pilots

Imagine telling your kids their party would be a great opportunity for them and their friends to learn more about history, maths and physics. They’d probably suggest you cancel their birthday and walk out in protest.

But, what if the party involved learning to fly (with a secret spin-off being lessons in aviation history, maths and physics)? You’d be off to a flying start.

Enter Flight Experience, centrally located at Sydney’s Darling Harbour with other centres in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. The Sydney centre maintains a full-sized replica of the Boeing 737 cockpit and is approved by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for the training of airline pilots and, of more interest to us, 11 year-olds who dream of one day flying a plane.

Flight Experience offers a children’s education program, Flying Start, which is a fabulous experience designed to put kids in the captain’s seat of a Boeing 737. In a fun and exciting environment kids have the opportunity to learn the basics of aviation from professional pilots. Whilst Flight Experience doesn’t advertise children’s parties as such, they are happy to tailor their Flying Start program to accommodate a group party for kids. With boys of his own, Iain Pero, Flight Experience Sydney’s Director of Sales, had a cargo hold full of ideas for our 11 year-old boys and their friends, ensuring their experience would be fuelled with fun as well as spreading their wings with information about the history, maths and physics of flight.

With our crew of ten pupil pilots in tow, we touched down at Flight Experience Sydney with the boys flying high on adrenaline. Iain Pero and his team were ready for the onslaught and quickly had the kids checked in and sorted into groups. After an introductory talk, the first group of kids were taken to the simulator, accompanied by a professional pilot, each getting a turn in the captain’s seat to control a flight, including take off and landing at one of the many airports programmed into the simulator. The simulator is amazing. The cockpit has 180 degree visuals, sound and vibration – a sensory experience which leaves you with the impression of really flying a Boeing 737.

The kids awaiting their turn in the cockpit were treated to a multi-media presentation on aircraft and flying. They also completed an age-appropriate quiz put together by Iain, followed by a Q&A with the instructor pilots, Burke, Tim and Ben, who graciously answered questions about education requirements, training, what it takes to become a fighter pilot and whether they’d ever crashed! (The answer to the last question was “no”).

As each group finished, the others had their turn in the simulator with each flight being recorded and streamed through a large screen, allowing the other kids to watch each other’s take offs, flight paths and landings (a few near misses among them)!

After 2 hours of flying and learning, the kids were each presented with a framed photograph taken in the cockpit, a certificate of achievement and an encouraging talk from the instructor pilots.

As we disembarked the Flight Experience centre, the kids were soaring with their heads in the clouds, commenting on each other’s flying proficiency and remarking on the relevance of history, maths and physics in a world outside the classroom.

If you, like many parents, struggle to find new ideas for kids’ parties at a reasonable cost, this was definitely value for money with first class service all the way.

Post Originally published by Jenny Hatton Mahon on Weekend Notes

Bringing Boeing home with SilkAir

A 25-hour virtual flight delivery event

Flight Experience Singapore will play host for an exciting event with SilkAir and 150 aviation buffs will have the opportunity to fly a Boeing 737-800 simulator, to mark the delivery of its first new 737 jet.

To celebrate SilkAir’s historic Boeing delivery, the airline will bring fans and aviation lovers together at Flight Experience, a Boeing 737-800 flight simulator business located at the Singapore Flyer. Flyers will ‘virtually’ deliver the new aircraft to Singapore by tracking the actual delivery route, from the Boeing Renton factory in Seattle to Singapore’s Changi Airport via Honolulu, Majuro and Guam.

The event will take place overnight from 7th to 8th February 2014 at Flight Experience Singapore, located at the Singapore Flyer. “We are very excited to be involved in this historic event”, says Flight Experience Singapore Director Joanna Caston. “We fly people in our simulator every day, creating a multitude of different scenarios, but to actually track the flight of this first delivery is very special”.

Flight Experience is the ideal environment for such an event with such a realistic flight simulator and the opportunity to create the complete route from Seattle to Singapore. The Flight Experience simulator is a fixed base device based on the Boeing 737-800. It includes a fully enclosed, scale cockpit accurately representing the avionics, systems and controls of the Boeing 737NG. Its unique High Definition (HD) wrap-around Visual System includes highly detailed scenery for thousands of airports world-wide.

Flight Experience is the world leader in Flight Simulation Entertainment (FSE) with over a dozen global locations in eight different countries. As well as being used for entertainment it is used by airlines and pilots for actual pilot training. Flight Experience is approved in several regions by civil aviation authorities and is a Boeing ‘Officially Licensed Product’

With 25 years in the air under its wing, SilkAir, the regional arm of Singapore Airlines, will be celebrating its Silver anniversary this year. SilkAir will be taking delivery of the first aircraft in its new fleet of 54 Boeing 737s in February, with a total of eight planes expected this year, and the remaining aircraft to be delivered by the end of this decade.

SilkAir travellers will also be rewarded through special promotional deals where 250,000 tickets will be made available at special rates for consumers in Singapore and across the region.

The first aircraft is planned to enter service from 20 February 2014, flying to destinations including Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Phuket and Medan while the arrival of the second plane will allow the addition of other routes for the new aircraft including Siem Reap, Danang, Davao, Cebu and Kochi from mid-March 2014.

SilkAir has maintained a strong position in the intra-Asian market and is already Asia’s most awarded regional airline, with recent titles such as Regional Airline of the Year (Air Transport News 2013 Awards) as well as the TTG Asia Travel Awards Hall of Fame to its name.

For media enquires, high res images and interviews contact:

Joanna Caston, Director Sales and Marketing ‘ Flight Experience Singapore

[email protected]

Ph +65 9380 0785

Iain Pero, Director Sales and Marketing ‘ Flight Experience Head Office

[email protected]

Ph + 61 412 893 777

Course to Conquer Fear of Flying

Aviophobia ‘ the fear of flying ‘ is surprisingly common. But an Australian company is working to conquer people’s fears. Gabrielle Boyle reports.

Fasten your seatbelt

Having developed a case of chronic aerophobia, Amanda Hooton decided it was time to stop flying by the seat of her pants and re-establish control.

I was not always afraid of flying. When I was young I was completely unlike Doris Day, who was unable to attend the ceremonies for her Presidential Medal of Freedom and her Lifetime Achievement Grammy because of her aerophobia. Or Stanley Kubrick, who refused to fly when filming Full Metal Jacket and had to re-create Vietnam in the fields of Norfolk; or even Kim Jong-il, whose otherwise substantial powers of mind control did not extend to convincing himself that the iron bird would fly. Nor did I have what psychologists call an “inciting incident” for my fear – a personal experience or near miss that gave rise to my anxiety (though it must be said, history is hardly littered with aviation near misses). Nothing terrible ever happened to me, yet as the years passed I got more and more anxious.

I often wrote letters to my family on cocktail napkins … explaining that I loved them and that I’d had a great life.

Largely, I was worried about turbulence, which is depressingly unoriginal: according to one international study, 40 per cent of people fear flying, 6.5 per cent are too afraid to fly at all, and most of both groups fear turbulence. I had all the classic aviatophobe’s thoughts: the wings snapping off the fuselage like toothpicks; the tail suddenly shearing away; chunks of aeronautical innards hurtling into the sky as we plunged into our inevitable death spiral.

The friendly skies … Amanda Hooton and pilot Julian D’Arcy in the flight simulator. Photo: Nick Cubbin

Over time I developed a complex system of coping mechanisms – I use the word coping advisedly – including an obsession with sitting as close as possible to the front of the plane (where turbulence is less noticeable); arriving early at the airport (at least two hours before a domestic flight); demanding that flight attendants explain (again) the reasons the plane wouldn’t drop from the sky; making deals with God that if I took 100 deep breaths He would stop the turbulence (God proved unreliable); and constructing a fantasy that I was actually sitting on a train (despite always wanting a window seat.)

I often wrote letters to my family inside book covers and on cocktail napkins, explaining that I loved them and that I’d had a great life. Somehow I imagined that when the plane did explode, these napkins would miraculously survive the subsequent plummet into the ocean (I always imagined crashing over the ocean), and would be delivered, dripping gently, to my grieving family. Most bizarre of all, I evolved a process by which I had to touch the outside of the fuselage of every plane I boarded with my finger – usually the littlest finger on my right hand. I chose not to wonder what the flight crew thought, watching me slide my hand along the rim of the door as they chivvied me towards seat 57D.

In the end, and despite all these baroque procedures, things got bad enough that I was prescribed Xanax to take before flights. This did not eliminate my fear, but reduced my ability to care. Instead of thinking, “I AM GOING TO DIE!!!”, it made me think, “I am going to die.” But then I had a baby and could no longer take Xanax; and I missed the chance to fly around Everest with Peter Hillary, son of Edmund, one pearly Himalayan morning. Peter Hillary had lost his mother and sister in a plane crash, yet he was on that plane and I was not. Clearly, something had to change.

Come fly with me … Captain David Evans brings the comfort and calm that come with 30 years’ and 20,000 hours’ flying experience. Photo: James Brickwood

Usefully, page one of the Flight Experience Fear of Flying course manual contains a list titled Common Flying Fears, and the very first one reads: “The plane will crash and I will die.” Go no further, I tell Nikki Johnson, the psychologist who helped develop the course, which has just started in Australia. That’s me.

Johnson, a stylish, dark-haired woman wearing reassuringly confident glasses, nods. Most of my rituals, she explains, are what are called safety behaviours, and they’re a common way to cope with anxiety, in flying and in life. In my case, they’re mostly linked to feeling fearful about not being in control. “Do you feel like it’s your job to keep the plane in the air?” she asks.

Yes! I say excitedly: I feel certain that if I relax for a moment, disaster will strike. She nods solemnly. “Because it’s only your vigilance that will spot the engine exploding in flames, right? None of the actual air crew will notice. It’s all up to you.”

Are you saying I’m a control freak? I ask. Johnson grins.

I am also, it seems, a perfectionist and a catastrophiser, an unappealing combination that’s particularly bad for flying, where you have to not only relinquish control, but trust in someone else’s expertise and have faith in positive outcomes.

My task is clear. Physically, I have to learn to relax, and mentally, I have to change my thinking about flying. Inspired by Johnson, I spend the next week practising progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing, and monitoring my anxious/unrealistic/ridiculously catastrophic daily thoughts. The idea, based on cognitive behaviour therapy techniques, is to gather realistic information about your fears, and then use it to change your thinking, rather than torment yourself with endless million-to-one disaster scenarios. As Johnson puts it: “Is there any evidence that does not support your fear?” She smiles encouragingly. “For once, you’ve got to think about all the reasons you might not crash.”

Captain David Evans provides the most compelling reason I’ve had for years that I might not crash. Part of the course’s information-gathering phase involves talking to an actual pilot, and by the end of my session with Evans, I feel like clinging to his leg and demanding that he be in charge of every flight I ever take for the rest of my life.

Evans has more than 30 years’ and 20,000 hours’ of flying experience. He was the most senior pilot aboard QF32, the Qantas A380 crippled by an engine failure leaving Singapore in 2010. Today, in an office on Coward Street (!) in Sydney’s south, his job is to answer my “Why don’t the wings snap off?” questions, and provide me with some realistic evidence to counter my doom-laden thoughts.

He and young pilot Julian D’Arcy, who will run my simulator flight, take me through an exhaustive presentation in which I learn that, statistically, I could fly every day for 19,000 years without crashing; how every nut and bolt (literally) on a plane is logged, monitored and maintained; how many backup systems exist (there are, for instance, primary, auxiliary, backup and emergency brakes); how planes can fly into the heart of thunderstorms (but never do, unless they’re carrying meteorologists); and how they can withstand turbulence and G-forces that would kill everyone on board before disintegrating. “Aircraft are designed to fly through all these things,” says Evans. “They’re enormously strong, sophisticated machines.”

That can be hard to remember when you’re bouncing up and down in 57D, I say.

He laughs. “The simulator will help with that.”

The simulator does help with that. Secreted in a harbourside shopping mall, a replica cockpit of a Boeing 737 has been set up to run virtual flights that contain all the visual and flight information you’d get on a real flight, bar the 10,000 metres of air between you and solid ground.

Strapped into the seat beside D’Arcy, the first thing that strikes me is how low-tech everything looks. For some reason I’d expected it to resemble an Apple store or the bridge of the starship Enterprise – all sleek screens and white consoles – but in fact I’m surrounded by sheets of industrial-looking grey metal, dotted with large Apollo 13 style switches. Everything, moreover, appears to be clamped together using enormous clumsy screws. “Those are all aeronautical-grade screws,” D’Arcy explains. “Every single one has to meet international regulations for strength and durability.”

Gazing at the banks of switches, I catch sight of one labelled “ANTI COLLISION”. For one terrifying moment I think I’ve discovered the solution to every impact crash ever suffered by a 737. “It’s to stop ground services approaching while the engines are running,” D’Arcy says patiently.

After fielding more inane questions – “A clipboard! How much of my safety depends on a clipboard?” and “What would happen if I went mad and ripped this lever out with my bare hands?” – we start the preprogrammed flight of my worst nightmare: turbulence, a thunderstorm, steep banking, a missed landing and an engine failure. Through it all, D’Arcy coaches me about how turbulence-competent the aircraft is; how avoiding thunderstorms and turbulence is for passenger comfort rather than aircraft safety; how planes can roll right over but are restricted to 25-degree banking for passenger peace of mind; how routine missed landings are; how it’s possible to take off, fly and land using only one engine.

It’s a terrific information-gathering experience, and provides me, as Johnson explains, with valuable exposure to my fear. This in turn helps me believe that I, and the plane I’m on, can actually survive a flight. Nonetheless, I can’t shake a lurking awareness that I am not, in fact, on a plane. Will any of this help when I really am? And lying beneath that lurking awareness is another one: that in 48 hours, when I fly to Perth, I really will be.

The same night as my simulated flight, another 737 cockpit – this one attached to a plane owned by Lion Air – ditches into the sea near Denpasar. Almost immediately, Nikki Johnson sends me an encouraging email. “If yesterday’s crash-landing in Indonesia has left you a little unsettled,” she writes, “be sure to think about the quality of the airline, the fact that everyone survived, and the number of flights in the air every day around the world. I am sure you have already gone through this process of realistic thinking.”

In fact, I’ve been too busy to see the news or check my emails before I leave, so I board my flight blissfully unaware of the need to think about it at all. We take off and I begin to march my realistic thoughts into battle. “Just the landing gear retracting,” I say as a terrible grinding noise emerges from the bowels of the plane. “Just the thrust decreasing as the plane levels off,” as the engine noise suddenly seems to vanish. And, best of all, as the turbulence bubbles around the aircraft, “Just the plane entering the jet stream and encountering air at different velocities.”

And what do you know. I can hardly believe it, but the fear is gone. It’s as if the space in my head once taken up by blind terror is now occupied by a kind of personalised flight manual. I get off the plane feeling like Yuri Geller, as if I’ve performed some kind of spoon-bending magic trick.

Three weeks later, it’s the same on the return flight. Despite accidently seeing the unbelievable footage of a 747 cargo plane falling from the sky in Afghanistan three days before I fly, I do not think of death once while I’m in the air. Next time, I’m not even going to touch the fuselage.

Article originally posted at The Sydney Morning Herald

Flying high – dealing with aviophobia

Michelle Row from The Australian reports on two people’s journey to conquer their fear of flying with remarkable results. This scientifically designed course in cooperation with Psychologists and Airline Pilots, shows great results in helping people overcome their fear of flying.

Click here to read article (PDF)

That’s Life

Quivering, I clutched the seat in terror. “We’re experiencing bad turbulence,” the pilot announced. The plane lurched and so did my stomach. Suddenly a blinding light flared at the side of the aircraft. We’re going to die! I thought sobbing. “Lightning hit the wing but everything’s fine”, the pilot said, but I couldn’t stop shaking… Read Article

Grill Team Hypnotised to Fly Blues

Three men, one world famous hypnotist. One plane carrying the entire NSW Origin squad. Gold.

Australian Aviation

Technological leaps have allowed unprecedented level of accessibility and insight into flight for the wider public. One organisation opening the flightdeck door to the general public in city centres around the world is the appropriately named Flight Experience. The Flight Experience operation centred upon a synthetic trainer modelled on the Boeing 737… Read article

Channel 7 Sunrise

Grant is back again Flying High and this time at Flight Experience Brisbane. Taking on the persona of an airline Captain, Grant decides to put things on auto pilot whilst he chats to the cabin crew.

Fear of flying haunts air travellers after MH17 crash

For one horrifying second, Eliza Strauss thought she could see a fiery missile speeding up from the darkness towards her plane. It was only two weeks since MH17 had been shot down and she had been admiring the view from her business-class seat on a flight home to Melbourne from Europe when her life-long terror of flying kicked in.

“It does funny things to you. I just had this weird look out the window and imagined a missile. I had to do some self-talking, put it out of my mind, tell myself ‘No, no, if we are hit I won’t know about it anyhow’.”

Thanks to an earlier course of treatment for her aviophobia, Strauss had felt fine when she boarded the plane with her 24-year-old step-daughter, but that night in the darkened cabin, while most of other passengers were snoozing, that old demon crept in to test her nerves once more.

Mastering the fear: Eliza Strauss in a flight simulator with flight instructor Tom Dyke at Flight Experience. Photo: Eddie Jim

The fear of flying, sometimes also called pteromerhanophobia, defies logic. The risk of being involved in an air crash is infinitesimally small but there are many people for whom such statistics are meaningless.

Melbourne psychologist Les Posen, who has treated aviophobes for 30 years, says many of his patients can easily quote him all the comforting aviation safety figures. “They are well-versed in those,” he says. “These people are often very bright, used to taking control, managing the destiny of others between 9am and 5pm, but they are confused about the randomness [of aircraft disaster] and MH17 tapped into that. Two minutes before, five minutes afterwards, it could have been another plane and the whole story changes.”

For white-knuckled air travellers, the year 2014 has delivered their worst nightmare. In March Malaysian Airlines MH370 – with 239 people aboard – disappeared without trace on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Unsurprisingly, MAS reported a subsequent seven 7 per cent drop in passengers.

Incredibly, it was the same airline four months later whose flight MH17 was shot down by militants over the Ukraine, killing 298. For flight-frighters, the safety statistics could indicate what they will – there were now 537 passengers whose horrific deaths spoke otherwise.

Strauss, 45, says her problem first appeared when she was was 14 while flying with her grandmother to Canberra.

“I began feeling nervous, uncertain, claustrophobic. My grandmother couldn’t understand it because she loved flying – she was married to a World War 2 air force pilot. A year later, when I was in Year 9 at school, I was on a flight with friends when the plane struck bad turbulence. It’s funny but I remember trying to reassure the others. Maybe that instigated it. After that, when I travelled on my own and didn’t have to be brave, I was a wreck.”

From age 18 Strauss flew every year – domestically and internationally – and with each flight her fears grew worse. She is a Melbourne nurse and midwife who knows the health risks in mixing medication with high-altitude travel but nevertheless she began dosing up on anti-anxiety pills before each flight.

“I’d take too many because I would want to blur it all out. They made me sleep and I would be in this strange state of fogginess. But then I’d wake up and realise we’d only been flying six or seven hours and take another tablet. I’d get nervous, have sweaty palms, always have a headache. Any turbulence frightened me. I just wanted to get to the destination.”

Strauss believes her mother’s fear of flying sowed the seed. “She had the same symptoms and never hid that from me”, says Strauss. “And she’s still like that.”

”But I have been the opposite with my own 14-year-old daughter because I never want her to think there must be a reason why her mother’s fearful.”

Les Posen says jumpy airline passengers often try to find their own solutions before seeking help – they read books, consult their GPs, maybe do an airline-based course. “They may have some success but a year or two later some event occurs and they find themselves the same-old. Some don’t fly at all, some will fly but only after self-medicating with alcohol – so they fly only after 2pm because the bar in the airline lounge is not open until the afternoon.

“Or, for a 9am meeting, they will fly in overnight so they can recover. The idea of flying in at 7am for a meeting at 9 while still overcome with medication – that can be quite intrusive. The cause of their fear is not always clear and it is part of my task to work through that with them to find out what’s going on — and most importantly why this fear continues.”

Posen says some aviophobes construct their lives around their unwillingness to fly. “So holidays become domestic affairs where they take a cruise or a train, or they drive somewhere. But always in the back of the mind is the question: what happens if they get that urgent phone call?”

You have to return to England because a parent is unwell or your daughter has unexpectedly decided to get married in New York and wants you there. ”It’s almost always international. There’s hardly anything domestic. Some people can fly an hour to Sydney and cope with it. They gear themselves up, get it together. But by God, 12 hours to Los Angeles, sit there overnight and do it again for five hours to New York ? Forget about it!”

Superstition plays a part too, says Posen. “Some will check out the registration of the plane,” and if, say, it doesn’t have a Z or an X they think they’ll be safe. Or they might carry a talisman – a religious cross or father’s war medals.”

Estimates vary on the proportion of the population who are “grounded” like this. Posen says it depends on the “cut off”. “Some say the cut-off is people who won’t fly at all but that’s not good enough in modern life. It’s also people who fly less often than they could, or people who disrupt the holidays of their families, or people who are turning down speaking engagements or job promotions.”

Psychologist Shawn Goldberg says that, when quizzed, aviophobes cite many reasons for their anxiety. “The plane will crash and I’ll die.” “I’ll have a panic attack.” “I’m terrified I’ll make a fool of myself.”

Many aviophobes also have other phobias such as a fear of heights, a fear of lifts or enclosed spaces. “Sometimes they have a social phobia, which is basically a fear of being judged by others,” Goldberg says.

Goldberg is contracted by the Flight Experience firm in the city to treat fear of flying. He recently had a call from a man who had got as far as the air bridge from the airport gate to the plane door then had to turn back. “Some people have bought tickets then been unable to get into the car to drive to the airport,” says Goldberg. “It can be very expensive because, depending on your insurance, you may not get a refund.” If the passenger is travelling internationally that can amount to thousands of dollars.

Goldberg says it is not necessary to find a root cause of a patient’s aviophobia although, as in Eliza Strauss’s case, it can be partly genetic. “You can inherit anxiety. You can be pre-disposed to it and it can be triggered by your environment.”

Remarkably, Goldberg says virtually 100 per cent of aviophobes can be treated successfully (“we don’t like the word ‘cure’ in psychology”) in sessions held over four weeks.

The first step is to help them understand anxiety and learn techniques to deal with it such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation. Clients have a session in a flight simulator, sitting in the cockpit with a pilot who details the safety features and sophisticated back-up systems.

They are given facts and figures that debunk some of the strongly held myths and irrational beliefs about flying. “Logical explanation opens up their mind,” says Goldberg, so for example, they won’t think if the aircraft hits turbulence the wing will break off.

“Other sessions involve applying rational thought to their irrational belief system. This is where cognitive behaviour therapy comes in – to change the way they think so they change the way they feel. They try that out in their everyday life then bring it in to the flight simulator.”

Goldberg says that, once treated successfully, aviophobes should be able to cope even if it’s several years until they fly again.Although long-term studies have not yet covered this element, Goldberg says the skills they learn in this course are applicable to everyday life and can be deployed to deal with other anxieties.

Pilot Michael Wurm is often called in by Flight Experience as part of its course of treatment for aviophobic clients, providing a voice of calm assurance about the facts of air travel.

“I go through the physical side of how an aircraft works, the fundamentals of what keeps this big beast in the sky,” Wurm says. “The system behind the plane, how it is maintained. I’ve found the most interest is in the environment in which the aircraft operates, the weather situation, and we explain the meaning of terms that are bandied about, like wind shear or turbulence.

Wurm says planes are much more capable than how they are portrayed in film and literature. “We deal with the mythology from Hollywood, that turbulence will pull the aeroplane apart or that the aircraft can drop several thousand feet in a turbulent event which in fact doesn’t happen, aircraft don’t drop anywhere, it is just the sensation of dropping.

“We also go over the training that is given to the people involved in engineering, pilots, cabin crew and all the back-of office stuff that is not so glamorous but is incredibly important to the safety of air travel.”

Wurm, who has 12,500 flying hours under his belt with a major Australian airline, says the cabin crew sometimes notify him if a passenger is having problems dealing with the flight.

“After we land, I’ll invite them up on the flight deck so they can see what it actually looks like, see that we are real people, we haven’t got horns coming out of our heads or hair coming out of our earlobes. My colleagues and I are passionate about flying and we understand that it is something a little unknown, a little unusual, and we’re happy to spend a bit of time with these people.”

Wurm also confronts jumpy passengers with those much-vaunted statistics. Fact is, you are far more likely to die of a beesting than in a plane crash. A US study recently concluded that, while the chances of death on a bicycle are about one in 88,000, your odds of death in the air are about one in seven million. However, as psychologist Les Posen says: “The person who’s afraid of flying will say: but what if that ‘one’ is me?”

DEATH BY NUMBERS 2012

From falling out of bed: 65

In “air and space transport accidents” (including private aviation) 38

Via agricultural machinery 2012 6

Medical, surgical complications 253

Pedestrian hit by bus or truck 40

Fall on steps 50

Choking on food 44

Fall from ladder 24

Struck by thrown or falling object 20

Accidental suffocation or strangling in bed 14

Hit by lightning 1

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014)

Article written by Lawrence Money on theage.com.au – Melbourne