Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2011
As pilots, we often think about nervous passengers and how best to calm and reassure them before and during flight. But what happens when the pilot is the one filled with anxiety and paralyzing self-doubt? Can a once-enthusiastic general aviation pilot recover the joy of flying after his self-confidence has been lost? David Fern, 48, an electrical engineer in San Diego, California, and an instrument-rated private pilot with 20 years of flying experience, had to confront those uncomfortable questions after a debilitating series of panic attacks convinced him to ground himself nearly a decade ago.