Pilots with a fear of heights

Goonie

Never say die
#1
So I have a pretty extreme fear of heights.

For example, when I went to Golden Gate I was terrified and had to stand 2 feet from the guard rail even though the rail is 5 feet high. The only time I went up a ski lift (summer time) I had to walk 2 hours down because I was scared as hell the whole way up.

Flying has no affect on me whatsoever though.

Does anyone else have this irrational fear? My friends and family can't wrap their heads around the fact that I am a acrophobic pilot.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
#2
I think it's comfort that comes with time. My first five hours of dual I was still convinced we were going to fall from the sky.
 

JordanD

Honorary Member
#3
Yup. If I'm ever in a in a building with a glass elevator I usually want to take the stairs. Those things make me sweat the whole ride. Same with any kind of tall building or balcony, even if it's enclosed I'm not crazy about it.

Despite that, some of the most fun I've ever had was strapped in an airplane stuck together with glue and fabric at 5,000 feet violently spinning directly at the ground. Go figure.
 

Boris Badenov

He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
#4
Pretty much the same as you guys. I break out in a cold sweat when I watch Ferris Bueller leaning against the glass of the Sears Tower.

I mean I would, if I watched Ferris Bueller. Obviously.
 

rframe

pǝʇɹǝʌuı
#6
I wouldn't call it an irrational fear (like, being afraid of bunnies or the dark), but a healthy respect for something that will easily kill you if you dont pay attention. I have no problem in an airplane including aerobatics, and no real problem climbing things like ladders or trees, but when I'm on something without a good grip I get very tense. For example when I built my house, standing on the edge of the roof to work on a piece of trim makes me tense. Standing on the edge of a cliff also gets me a little tense. It's not the height so much as the lack of a secure grip that bothers me.

Starting about 1:30 makes me pee myself just watching this from my office chair.
3:50 gives me a mild heart attack.
At 6:30 I pass out.

I probably wouldn't sign up for this either:
 

tlewis95

I drive planez.
#7
My dad and I are the same way with our fear of heights. Flying a Breezy around or a Cub with the door open - no problems at all. But standing on the roof of the house or the edge of the second story over-look in the mall = no thanks.

I love roller coasters as well but my fear of heights is generally pretty active on the chain up (especially on the 'hanging' types) to the first hill, but once we clear that and gravity takes over it is all fun again. I will not get on a ferris wheel though - scariest ride in the park to me. I have been getting better as I now go on the 'giant drop' type rides where you are in a chair with your legs hanging out 200' high or so and then free fall to the bottom.
 

tlewis95

I drive planez.
#8
Starting about 1:30 makes me pee myself just watching this from my office chair.
3:50 gives me a mild heart attack.
At 6:30 I pass out.
Wow. Yeah I am almost falling out of my office chair with a side of heart attack watching that too. Insane.
 

Goonie

Never say die
#10
I wouldn't call it an irrational fear (like, being afraid of bunnies or the dark), but a healthy respect for something that will easily kill you if you dont pay attention. I have no problem in an airplane including aerobatics, and no real problem climbing things like ladders or trees, but when I'm on something without a good grip I get very tense. For example when I built my house, standing on the edge of the roof to work on a piece of trim makes me tense. Standing on the edge of a cliff also gets me a little tense. It's not the height so much as the lack of a secure grip that bothers me.

Starting about 1:30 makes me pee myself just watching this from my office chair.
3:50 gives me a mild heart attack.
At 6:30 I pass out.

I probably wouldn't sign up for this either:
Your entire post made me tense reading it.
 

Beep

Well-Known Member
#11
Count me in on the fear of edges and glass elevators. If it's only 5 or 10 feet down no problem, any higher than that then no way!
 

mshunter

Well-Known Member
#12
I am scared to death of heights! I always have been. But strap me.to something like an airplane or harness, and the fear goes away.

It's not the fall that gets you. It's the sudden stop at the end.
 

Vector4Food

This job would be easier without all the airplanes
#15
I used to, then I made myself face my fears...

Forced myself to become a de-icer years ago, open air bucket, spraying down the horiz stab on a 727 in a blowing snowstorm will either cure you or forever lock you into the fetal position.

Now I still get a little weak kneed or light headed watching videos above, but I'm also not as fearful as I once was... although like you it never did affect my flying at all.

It's not a fear of heights, I don't think about being up high, I think about going splat down on the bottom... I don't have that fear in an airplane.

The summer I flew meat bombs I was offered free lessons and free skydiving anytime I wanted, something I'm sure many would be jealous of... my answer was "Hell no are you insane? Now get in the plane"
 

JordanD

Honorary Member
#16
My dad and I are the same way with our fear of heights. Flying a Breezy around or a Cub with the door open - no problems at all. But standing on the roof of the house or the edge of the second story over-look in the mall = no thanks.

I love roller coasters as well but my fear of heights is generally pretty active on the chain up (especially on the 'hanging' types) to the first hill, but once we clear that and gravity takes over it is all fun again. I will not get on a ferris wheel though - scariest ride in the park to me. I have been getting better as I now go on the 'giant drop' type rides where you are in a chair with your legs hanging out 200' high or so and then free fall to the bottom.
I'd draw the line at the door off thing... Unless it was really low level. For some reason the sensation of speed cancels out any fear of heights for me.

Plus I don't trust a ratty 40 something year old seat belt.
 

Cloud Surfer

All Roads lead to Trantor
#19
Inside of a cockpit, there is a feeling of safety and security being offered by walls/bulkheads and windscreens. It makes pilots feel safe and protected from the elements. Take those away, and most pilots will feel threatened and frightened.
 

Landis

Well-Known Member
#20
Inside of a cockpit, there is a feeling of safety and security being offered by walls/bulkheads and windscreens. It makes pilots feel safe and protected from the elements. Take those away, and most pilots will feel threatened and frightened.
Strangely enough I have no problems on the front end of a Breezy but I get sweaty palms just watching (or thinking about) the video above.
 
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