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The SAS pilot who wants more people to lose their fear of flying

SAS pilot David Vojnovic loves his job in the cockpit and stays calm during his hours in the air. However, the opposite is the case for Vojnojic's cousin Adi Rupic who’s succumbed to a fear of flying far too many times. They've now written a book together called “Fear of Flying for Beginners”.

Name: David Vojnovic
Age: 27 
Career: joined SAS in January 2016. He flies Boeing 737s (based in Oslo) on both domestic and international routes. 
Current: Writer of the book "Fear of Flying for Beginners"

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Most people will probably admit to occasionally getting butterflies in their stomach as the plane takes off from the runway and heads for the clouds. Some people feel elation, others feel a terror tinged elation and for others still, it's about sheer, unmitigated agony. As far back as he can remember, Vojnovic always wanted to be a pilot and has never felt the slightest unease when stepping into an aircraft. On the other hand, he's met many people who find any airline journey excruciating.

“Just about a week ago, on a short domestic flight in Norway, there was a young girl so afraid of flying that she could barely step into the cockpit when boarding,” Vojnovic says.

Once the flight phobic girl dared enter the cockpit and asked the pilots some questions, she felt far more at ease. Helping passengers in more ways than getting them from A to B is something Vojnovic aims for. The book he’s now written with his cousin has given him an opportunity to do just that.

“Many people simply don”t understand how such a heavy metal tube weighing several tons can stay up in the air, and this gives them a sense of not being in control. We want to fill these knowledge gaps with the aid of this book.” 

Other than a lack of knowledge, difficult flights, turbulence, shaky landings or similar unpleasant experiences are often reasons why people are afraid of flying, Vojnovic feels. Readers can share Rupic's experiences in the book, who himself had a fear of flying, and then read what you should think about in situations like this, based on Vojnovic's knowledge. 

“Flight phobics will recognize themselves in Rupic's descriptions and can then gain tools in the form of knowledge to understand and think “this isn't dangerous, it's just a scenario I've built up in my head”.

The most common questions Vojnovic is asked by flight phobic passengers concern turbulence or what happens if an engine fails. However, some people don’t have any specific or well-founded fears about flying, they've simply been afraid of flying from a very young age.  

“The book covers the entire spectrum of flying. Everything from pilot training to how an airplane works. Everything is explained in an educational, easy to read way,” Vojnovic says. 

Text: Agnes Sundblad Elverfors


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