RICK JACKSON: View of Portsmouth helped conquer my fear of flying

I never thought it was going to be easy, but I knew I just had to do it. And let me be honest with you, it was tough.

Wednesday, 12th July 2017, 9:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:35 am
STUNNING The view of Portsea and Hayling islands

I’ve never got on with flying, I just worry myself stupid something will go wrong and there is no getting off.

Fearless Flying courses are great. You learn how safe flying actually is, but it’s convincing my brain of that fact which is proving difficult.

Why don’t I have the same trust of planes as I do a train?

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We flew from Bournemouth with Ryanair and I must say, flying from there was superb.

The terminal was quiet as we were the only flight at the time.

So it was just the 170 or so on the flight checking in.

We found our seats, six rows down. As we fastened the kids’ seatbelts, they started to play up.

Was this the distraction I needed?

No, it simply made my anxiety worse.

As the last passengers boarded I was seconds from bottling it.

I just felt I couldn’t sit there in that high state of anxiety for two hours, no matter how safe it was supposed to be.

Deep breathing helped and I decided to stay put.

We taxied out, then full power. Wow! You just couldn’t help but be impressed. It beat any supercar!

We reached 160mph and took off.

There was a bizarre buzzing from the jet engines. It dominated the cabin and I willed them to keep going.

We banked and started to bump a little in the clouds.

I apologised to the woman in front as I caught a clump of her hair as I held on to her seat.

But there, out of the window, was Portsmouth, Hayling Island and the Isle of Wight… a stunning view which certainly distracted me.

Several times during the flight I had to keep up the deep breathing, especially as we dodged a thunderstorm which made us bump a little, but I was growing in confidence.

Just two hours and ten minutes later, we touched down at Alicante airport.

I’d done it and without an experienced captain’s flight commentary.

It was time to enjoy our holiday.


We stayed in an urbanisation in the town of Cabo Roig, just south of Torrevieja.

It seems crazy how many of those wonderful villas remain empty for most of the year, all shut up.

Opposite us the English couple were about to migrate.

Sadly, they hate July and August as it’s far too hot, so they were planning to return to the UK for some fresh air... in the middle of a heatwave!

It’s funny how we’d moan at each other if we left the front door open, as we were letting the cool air-conditioned air out!

Even on the couple of overcast days, the temperature was 30C. Even with factor 30 cream on, my poor belly turned red.

Outside, the only relief was the pool.

Bliss for two entire weeks.


The worst thing about your summer holiday is the last day.

Ours on Sunday saw the temperature hit 35C.

It was sweltering as we packed and cleaned the villa.

Sadly, my nerves were on edge as I knew an aeroplane was waiting for us.

But the flight was perfect. Smooth and quick with stunning views once again. Thankfully, my friend Jack Daniels helped with my nerves!

What was crazy is we were home by 9pm after our 6pm take-off.

Last year I drove, leaving on the Saturday morning, driving through Spain all day and returning home late on Sunday evening off the Le Havre ferry after driving through France.

Forget about nerves, it’s an aeroplane every time now.