Ask the Captain

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Hi Chris,


I just wanted to say thank you so so much for todays course. It really was fantastic. You are an inspiration and I feel so much better about flying! It is incredible. Worth every penny and then some. I think so many people would benefit from the course. I will certainly be speaking to everyone I know about it. Thanks again.


Emma Charlesworth



Dear Captain Chris Rigby


I would like to thank you very much for your patience and taking the time to spend with me to tackle my fear of flying.


 I have almost not walked onto an aircraft several times in my life due to abject fear of something terrible going to happen.  I have been afraid to even try to relax as I figured if I stayed anxious, I would be ready to act if something did go wrong!  I have had to have several stiff drinks or worse, sleeping pills or tranquillizers just to get me onto a flight.  I have been afraid to go to the toilet in case I caused the aircraft to list by my walking around and I have sobbed during take off because of noises I didn't understand!  


I realise after talking to you that Fear of Flying is not my problem, my problem came from different anxieties such as Claustrophobia, Agoraphobia, fear of heights, fear of water, anxiety about being in a crowd of unknown people and probably some other anxieties that I don't even know about!


After I spoke to you, I flew Transatlantic on the Virgin 'Jumbo' by myself. As the passengers were embarking, I focused on visualising the Captain and 1st officer going over all the pre-flight checks, double checking and triple checking.  I also watched the expressions on the faces of the cabin crew and thought these people fly all the time and not one of them looked anxious.I know this is an obvious thing to say but I had previously been so busy being anxious that it had not crossed my mind before that these people do this all the time! Thinking about this really did enable me to relax.  


During taxi and take off, I reminded myself of what you told me about all the sounds I might hear and what they were, including the clunk, clunk shortly after take off being the undercarriage coming up. I also remembered what you said about the seatbelt sign often being put on but that this was nothing to worry about and chances are it was merely to allow the cabin crew to carry on with their work without being obstructed by passengers walking around!


During the flight I focussed on the fact that flying was a very safe way to travel given all the statistics you gave me.  I didn't panic when we hit some turbulence because you had given me a scientific explanation for it and I was able to visualise this.  I thought about everything you told me about Pilot training and how they want to get home to their families as well!


I happily watched the in-flight entertainment, listened to some music, read a bit and actually dozed off for a while!


As we began our descent, I didn't feel anxious at all because you had explained step by step what the Captain would be doing to land the plane and I anticipated the sounds I would hear and knew what they were related to.


All in all Chris, I had a very enjoyable flight, thanks to you sharing your time and expertise with me.  Your explanations were in 'Layman's' terms, easy to understand and they all made sense.  You gave me a virtual tour around the Cock pit and explained the instruments which helped enormously.


I recommend anyone with a 'Fear of Flying' to contact you as you are approachable and patient, have a great sense of humour, able to empathise and put things into perspective.


Thank you so much for helping me to understand why I had so many fears.  I will not be an FF (Frightened Flyer) in future, I am now an RF (Relaxed Flyer) and will be  able to enjoy the experience of flying at last.


Kind regards

Sue Tyler (age 49)



Hi Chris,


Well I got back a few days ago from an amazing trip to Las Vegas! And I have to say that I was so much more relaxed about the flight leading up to it and I even managed breakfast at the airport right before the flight which is a total first for me! I was still nervous on take-off but once up in the air I was fine. I kept going over your advice and it was nice for the whole experience not to ruin the day.


I'm looking forward to jetting off somewhere again! Its not going to stop me seeing the world. Thankyou for all your advice, it really helped to relax me more than ever before. I really appreciate it.


All the best, Nina.



Dear Chris


We recently attended your fear of flying talks. During them you kindly helped answer a few of my questions. Back in 2005, my family and I were on a return Virgin flight from Nassau when we suffered severe turbulence (resulting in numerous passenger injuries) and this has consequently shaken my confidence in a big way.  After the awful experience my mum even tried hypnotherapy to overcome her fear, but with no success.  I only wish she had been with us and attended your lectures, as I’m certain this would have made all the difference and helped her as much as it has done me.


I found the ‘Come Fly With Me’ presentation very beneficial.  I’ve never properly understood or appreciated what goes on behind the scenes on the flight deck, and seeing just how many checks are made has put my mind at ease.  For years my partner has tried assuring me how safe flying is but I needed to see it and hear it from the horse’s mouth.


Thank you