In the early morning hours Saturday, the 157 passengers on board Caribbean Airlines Flight 523 were cheering for the captain’s smooth landing on the runway in Guyana, but the plane did not stop. The 157 passengers and six crew members aboard the plane all became the very fortunate survivors of a horrendous crash.
The runway was slick with rain, and the plane just kept going until it crashed through a chain-link fence and broke in two as it fell to the ground below, barely missing a 200 feet deep ravine. The pictures of the wreckage are shocking, and it’s a miracle that no one was seriously injured. Had the plane fallen into the ravine it may have been a different story.
Any time there is news of a plane crash, many people think a little bit more about taking their next flight. I can only imagine how the survivors of the Guyana incident feel about returning back to New York. In the last minutes of the flights landing and subsequent crash, many passengers thought they might not make it through.
The father of a 7-year-old girl said, “She doesn’t want to go back on a plane to New York. I’m scared, too, but I can’t let her know that.”
The Trinidad-based airline is the largest carrier in the region, and they will be providing counseling to the passengers of Flight 523. Although there were no fatalities, going through such a traumatic experience can be life changing.
Though these incidents are scary, they are rare. It is important to realize that airline travel overall, is considered extremely safe. Compared to traveling in your car, driving is a lot more dangerous. Your odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident are about 1-in-85 over your lifetime. The odds of your life ending on any type of air flight, including private passenger planes, are 1-in-5,862.
If that doesn’t make you feel any better about flying, and you have a scheduled flight in the near future, there are several courses of action you can take to help you relieve your fears.
First, remind yourself that the odds of a plane crash are very slim. It helps to close your eyes while you’re on the plane, and imagine you are on the ground riding in a bus. Once you’re in the air, it doesn’t really feel that much different. When the plane is flying through turbulence, closing your eyes and laying your head down can make you feel much better. Remember to relax your muscles and breathe slowly and deeply.
If you really feel like your anxiety is going to get the best of you, talk to your doctor and ask for a prescription sedative. This will help you relax, and once you get onto that plane and buckle-up, sleeping through the flight can make it much more bearable.
Whatever you do, don’t give into your fear of flying. Traveling and seeing the world is one of life’s most fantastic experiences. Don’t miss it.