Many of us feel anxious before getting on an airplane, but some people truly panic when they fly. Here’s how several aviophobes got over their fear




Before you read,

Use the words below to replace the words in bold in the article:


hurtling          wary   debilitating    distressing      cripple

yields             termed            shiver vomit  dizziness

A 2006 poll indicates that 27 percent of American adults are at least somewhat afraid to fly in an airplane; 9 percent are “very afraid.”

People with aviophobia worry obsessively that they will crash or even die of their own fear. In extreme cases, an individual suffers a full-blown panic attack, which can include physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea and 1. faintness. Such intense fear may 2. ruin careers and prevent people from visiting family or friends.

Fear of flying often 3. submits to treatment with do-it-yourself DVDs, hypnosis or virtual reality. Perhaps the most effective therapy, however, involves confronting the fear with facts and exposing patients to what they fear—by putting them on an airplane.

Karsten Kramarczik, a magazine art director from Schriesheim, Germany, never liked to fly. Even as a child, he found that the prospect of enclosing himself in a long metal tube and 4. racing through the ether at nearly the speed of sound made him 5. quiver. Nevertheless, for much of his life Kramarczik forced himself to get on airplanes. Then, four years ago, doubt mysteriously turned into full-blown panic on a trip to Barcelona. He has not flown since.

According to a 2006 USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll, 27 percent of American adults are at least somewhat afraid to take to the skies; 9 percent are “very afraid.” These statistics suggest a recovery since the September 11, 2001, attacks, shortly after which a Gallup poll indicated that 43 percent were 6. cautious about getting on an airplane, including 17 percent who were “very afraid.”

A fear of flying, 7. called aviatophobia or aviophobia, refers to a level of anxiety so great that a person refuses to travel by air or finds doing so extremely 8. upsetting. Experts estimate that at least 10 percent of Americans have such a phobia. These people worry obsessively that they will crash or even die of their own fear. In extreme cases, an individual suffers a full-blown panic attack, a sudden feeling of intense anxiety that is often accompanied by shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea and dizziness. Some may 9. throw up at the mere sight or mention of an airplane. Such intense fear can be 10. exhausting. (…)


Now read the whole article and check your answers:



Key: 1. dizziness; 2. cripple; 3. yields; 4. hurtling; 5. shiver; 6. wary; 7. termed; 8. distressing; 9. vomit; 10. debilitating




  • to ameliorate – to make a bad or unpleasant situation better
  • to diffuse – to spread out
  • dread – extreme uneasiness, great fear
  • to acquiesce – to accept something reluctantly but without protest
  • to exacerbate –  to  make a bad situation worse
  • unwittingly – without knowing or planning
  • to aggravate – to make worse, more serious, or more severe
  • acute – intense
  • peril – serious and immediate danger
  • to spew – flow out in large amounts
  • innards – the internal parts especially of a structure or mechanism
  • to quelch – if you squelch something that is causing you trouble (e.g.rumours, opposition) you firmly put a stop to it

Practice Makes Perfect

 Watch the first three minutes of the video and describe all the different types of extreme flying Ueli Gegenschatz talks about.





  • How do you feel about flying?
  • What are some of the best /worst things about flying?
  • Do you remember the first time you flew?
  •  Is flying safe in your opinion?
  • Do you ever think or worry about the plane crashing when you’re flying somewhere?
  • Do you think we’ll be flying to the Moon and Mars one day?
  • Would you like to try extreme flying?



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