British Lung Foundation
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Oh Dear ! , I have a bad fear of flying, and now with COPD , I'me puffing and spluttering away

at the mere sight of a plane at the airport, anticipating getting on the dam thing. My next flight is next month. My fears are not completely unfounded - last few flights = Middle East = on landing badly, smashed up the "Nose Wheel ", Germany = Old propeller plane, section of Engine fell off - Rome= Leaking fuel from "Starboard" engine, Sweden= very severe Turbulence, and Sicily = the rear toilets flooded sending a "Wave" of water (I hope it was water !), travelling right down the Isle and length of the aircraft, into the "Flight Deck" and I learnt later "Shorted out some equipment at 30,000 feet " -Emergency Landing . Any good folk out there have any ideas how to keep calm, and therefore less Puffing etc - As a Musician, I have no choice but to fly, because of time factors, and now with COPD, the flying "Experience" has become horrendous, needless to say, hardly anyone wants to fly with me, they say I am jinxed - yuk! Many thanks - Vittorio.

7 Replies

Get your GP to prescribe small amount of Valium - take it when you get in your airplane seat, works a treat. One to get there and one to get back easy peasy. Tell the GP about your experiences and fear and the effect it has on you. Oh yeah and sit right at back of plane. Lizzie


You have been so unlucky. It is natural that you should be worried. I cant really help you but I think you can get help with a fear of flying. Wish I could remember the details. A search of the internet?

I have flown a lot in the past. Never any traumatic episodes. I can recall extensive smoking on flight, and other people using oxygen masks. I think it is time, since you need to fly, to try to be positive and seek help.

I have never met anyone who loves flying. You have an interesting passport!


Hello vittorio

We have a Travel pack going on holiday with a lung condition. If you give us a call i will send you one out in the post. We also have a respiratory nurse available today if you would like to discuss this.

Take Care



I know it's not funny, but didn't the A-Team's B. A. Baracus have issues with flying ? I can't remember any of the remedies, other than drugging him, knocking him out or fooling him into thinking he was doing something else. No, not very helpful, sorry.


This is not a fear of flying it is a common sense reaction to bad things happening! You have been very unlucky. I think the best idea put forward is to take a tranquiliser and sleep until you arrive at your destination. Bon voyage.


Thanks folks for your kindly suggestions, since asking my question managed to get an appointment with my Doc( following a cancellation ) curiously, he said he "Loved " flying and suggested I sat, if possible" Over the Wing" , as less turbulance is experienced at this point of the aircraft, and demonstrated it with a pencil - Hmm - interesting !, he also prescribed "Diazepam " to take about an hour before "Take off", so will have a bash and , hopefully a calm flight AND without any dramatic effects taking place to the aircraft outlined above. - Oh , "ZULU" 's answer made me smile - a pal of mine IS a psychiatrist ! , I rung him quickly - have never asked him about his thoughts on flying - so I did - he replied = CAN'T STAND IT "!! - I said - I thought you of all people would be ok about flying, because of your knowledge on how the mind works - he replied - , "YES, BUT I AM ALSO A HUMAN BEING WITH HUMAN FEARS - RATIONAL OR NOT !!! - Wow - !!.

- One last thought - my other Phobia is SPIDERS - , so if I see a Spider ON an Aircraft - I'me in real trouble !! - Thanks again everyone....Vittorio.


Hi Vittorio. I flew to Prague a couple of weeks ago and although I' ve always enjoyed flying it was the first time since my ill health increased, in October last year, and since my COPD diagnosis in June. My GP gave me the 'all clear' to fly but prescribed two Diazepam to be taken before each flight. This was to ensure that I didn't have any anxiety, which could result in SOB. I did as I was told and had no problems at all. After taking the Diazepam I felt that I could actually fly without the need of an airplane!! The problem was I wanted to sing too!! (what was that about??) I was more nervous about going under the Channel Tunnel, earlier in the year, before the diagnosis but even that was ok. If you're fit to fly then the main issue is keeping relaxed and calm. Forget the spiders , have you seen 'Snakes on a plane.....!!!' ha ha xx


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