It is estimated that as many as 30 percent of people that fly have some apprehension when it comes to flying. These individuals normally just deal with the fear and still fly on a regular basis. Other people experience extreme panic at the very thought of flying and avoid flying at all costs. It is estimated that as many as 10 percent of the population have the fear of flying.
Other times the real fear is due to claustrophobia within the plane itself that causes the intense fear more so than the flying. Still others that suffer from panic disorder fear they will have a panic attack during a flight and avoid it all together.
Those that are more prone to display fear of actually flying include those that have misinformation about flying, under extreme stress, and those that are afraid to give control to others, in the case of flying it means trusting the pilot. Often the fear of losing control is too much for some people and they simply refuse to fly.
The best treatment for overcoming fear of flying are those that are willing to face the fear of flying is exposure therapy of desensitization therapy. This means the person is exposed to the very thing they fear in small manageable quantities. The idea is that the more the person experiences exposure to the thing they fear, the more their fear of the thing will decrease. This treatment normally works very well, but it does take some time and is often a slow ongoing process.
Many therapists now use flight simulation devices, which do in fact resemble the actual flight experience and is very useful in exposure therapy. As the patient learns the flying phobia is irrational, they begin to make progress, it can take years in some people and only months in others.