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Phoenix pilot teaching people how to overcome fear of flying

Phoenix pilot teaching people how to overcome fear of flying
Posted at 9:06 PM, May 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-12 01:30:53-04

The hero pilots of Southwest flight 1380 sat down for an exclusive 20/20 interview on Friday night. While the story is compelling to many, it's terrifying for people who have a fear of flying. 

"We dipped and I really just grabbed her around the neck and called out Jesus' name I don't know how man times," said a woman at the Sky Harbor baggage claim.

Flying expert and pilot, Captain Ron Nielsen, said most people's fear of flying comes from a lack of education and understanding about aviation. 

"They need reassurances because they don't have 20,000 hours [flying] like I do," said Nielsen. 

Captain Nielsen teaches people to ditch their fear at Fearless Flying. He said thousands of people had concerns after the southwest engine blew up, killing one passenger. 

"Immediately your brain says, 'what if it was me?" said Nielsen.

But the reality is it won't be you.

"You're more likely to become president than you are to die in a plane crash," said Nielsen. 

He said one of the biggest ways you can keep fear from touching down in your brain is to learn what all those unfamiliar little bumps and sounds mean. He also said one of the most valuable tips he can offer is to put a face on the plane's safety. 

"Introduce yourself to the flight attendant, 'hi, my name's Ron, I'm a little nervous about flying. Anything you can tell me about the flight? And can I meet the pilots?'" he said. "You wanna meet the pilots, that's the single most important thing people report helped them when they get on a flight."

Nielsen's class covers all the tips and tricks you need to be a better flyer and passenger. He has a class at Sky Harbor on Saturday, June 5th, at 5:00 p.m. Best of all, it's FREE. Click here to learn more.