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Reviews by SOAR Graduates

There was a problem with the front landing gear

Client Background Summary:

  • Three of my college pals not only convinced me to fly to Alabama, but drove me to the airport and, basically, shoved me onto the plane.
  • The tranquilizers worked on the dog, but not on me. She slept; I worried.
  • ...the pilot came on the intercom and told us in the most gentle of “doctor’s voices” that there was a problem...

Client Review Summary:

  • ...I found SOAR! Captain Tom and SOAR got me into the air again.
  • All of these excellent support systems have helped me to enjoy several trips to see my children.

Client Review:

"My first adventure on a plane was when I was a college student engaged to an Air Force officer stationed in Alabama. He asked me to come to see him over spring break. I was torn between my desire to visit him and my fear of flying. Goodness knows, I was fearful of carnival rides, speed, high places, you name it! I certainly did not want to fly in an airplane! However, three of my college pals not only convinced me to fly to Alabama, but drove me to the airport and, basically, shoved me onto the plane. I strapped in, hung on to the lady in the next seat, and somehow survived the flight to Memphis. There I had to switch to a prop for the flight to Birmingham. I took one look at that prop and said “no way.”

I desperately tried to get a bus to Birmingham from Memphis, but that didn’t work, so I steeled myself for the flight to Birmingham. Upon arrival, I pretty much “fell” off that plane into my fiance’s arms. After my white-knuckle flight back to Kansas City, I did not go near a plane again for 3 years. By that time the Air Force officer was my husband, and we received orders for a tour of duty in Turkey. GASP! That meant THREE different flights: KC to New York, New York to Istanbul and Istanbul to Izmir. I was a nervous wreck, but determined to go! I loaded up on tranquilizers, and was soothed by the presence of our little dog who had a Pan Am “ticket” to ride with us in the cabin. The tranquilizers worked on the dog, but not on me. She slept; I worried. To top of my misery, just as we approached the coast of Turkey the pilot came on the intercom and told us in the most gentle of “doctor’s voices” that there was a problem (NOT the word I wanted to hear at 30,000 feet) with the front landing gear, and we would over-fly Istanbul to land in Ankara after dumping fuel and allowing the airport to prepare for an emergency.

The flight attendants instructed us in emergency procedures, and we sped on into the night. As the jet swooped toward the runway, the cabin lights were turned off, and all passengers tucked heads between knees. The moment we touched down we knew we were OK as the plane rolled smoothly to a stop. The pilot shouted “Welcome to Turkey! Champagne for everyone!” The problem had been a short in the landing gear indication light, but the gear, itself, was working properly. The pilot just wasn’t taking any chances! My husband looked into my white face and said “Well, maybe we can get you a psychiatric pass for the trip home on a ship.”

Two years later we made it back to the States, but I vowed not to fly again!! … and I didn’t for years. But .. Ha ha … life does not let you off so easy. My daughters are grown now and live in California and Chicago; I live in Kansas. Determined to see them as often as I can, I knew I would have to fly, but I was too scared to even contemplate it. Soooo… I typed in “fear of flying” on the computer to seek some kind of help, and I found SOAR! Captain Tom and SOAR got me into the air again. I’ve watched the videos, listened to the CD’s, and even called Captain Tom for a chat.

All of these excellent support systems have helped me to enjoy several trips to see my children. I’ll never be a great jet passenger; I think I’ll always be apprehensive, but thanks to Captain Tom and SOAR, I now have the tools to help myself, to calm myself, and to get back on that plane. "

A SOAR Graduate

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