Those of us who aviat, for pleasure, business or as a career, it is hard to imagine why anyone would have any fear of flying. We are all familiar with those comic acts and programs where they poke fun at people trying to overcome their fear of flying. You may not have been aware of it, but there is a career out there for helping people who have a fear of flying. "The characteristics of this crash really had an impact because there was no information about the cause, but rampant media speculation," says Tom Bunn, 73, a pilot and therapist who runs Soar, a Connecticut-based company that helps people cope with their fear of flying. "It really freaked people out." It is amazing to think people imagine the aircraft's controls just stop working, or that lightning brings an aircraft down, or that turbulence broke the aircraft apart. Having flown through my share of turbulence, had the DC-3 I was flying struck by lightning several times, I am confident these three items are unlikely culprits in any accident. As pilots we learn early on that accidents usually begin before you ever get into the aircraft. Whether lack of training or experience, poor preflight or maintenance, or simply a stupid attitude, accidents don't just happen. They are the result of a series of steps which lead to the inevitability of an accident. So take heart, airplanes are inherently safe, and getting safer. Why, not too long ago an aging pilot converted a land airplane to a seaplane and everyone walked away and only got a little wet! Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect. — Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London. Circa early 1930's.