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Pilot of Flight 1549 ’Miracle on the Hudson’ Helps Passengers Overcome Fear of Flying


Jeffrey Skiles, co-pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 “The Miracle on the Hudson” which made a successful emergency landing in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, is once again helping airline passengers in desperate need of help.

Skiles has recently contributed his expertise and authored a foreword to the Takeoff Today Program, the popular program for overcoming the fear of flying available at In the foreword, he candidly speaks of his own experience on Flight 1549, and exactly how despite that life changing day, he was able to return back to the cockpit within two short weeks without nerves, fear, or apprehension.

Rich Presta, the author of the Takeoff Today Program states, “The fear of flying can be incredibly destructive to people’s lives and may prevent them from nurturing relationships with friends and family, pursuing careers that involve air travel, or simply seeing all that the world has to offer. During the development of the Takeoff Today Program, we worked with many pilots, flight attendants, airline mechanics, air traffic controllers, and others in the aviation industry to ensure we provide the best information possible, but we are certainly fortunate and thankful to have such a powerful contribution from someone as esteemed and noteworthy as Jeffrey Skiles.”

It has been estimated that one in four individuals suffer from the fear of flying and that the number of people effected in the US alone numbers in the millions. The contribution Skiles has made will allow fearful fliers to gain an understanding of flying from a pilots’ perspective and goes to great lengths to clear up myths and misconceptions about flying that cause unnecessary anxiety for many passengers.

In fact, not only is Skiles without fear since he has returned to flying, he goes on to state, “As a pilot of great experience who has literally survived a plane crash, I anxiously await my next flight. When you close that cockpit door, you leave all the troubles of the world on the other side. You are transported to a world of great beauty. There is no experience quite like picking your way through a thunderstorm line at 37,000 feet. Watching the storm cells grow and roil like living things before your eyes; the cloud tops blowing off the top downwind. Or the beauty of the night sky on a red eye flight. Turn down the cockpit lights crank your seat all the way up and pressing your nose against the windshield and try to count the stars, an impossible and humbling feat. There’s something about leaving the earth that puts all the things you thought were important in perspective.”

Skiles’ foreword and a great deal of material for fearful fliers can be access for free on the Takeoff Today Program website at Presta added, “It’s important to me that people struggling with a fear of flying have access to the information they need to overcome their fear, so we make it easy for everyone to learn the truth about flying so they can put their fears behind them. For many, our complimentary material is all they need to begin flying in comfort. Others may choose to pursue the more advanced material we offer for extreme anxiety and panic, but I think it’s reasonable to say we offer more quality material than any other program, website, or resource anywhere for the fear of flying.”

Rich Presta developed the Takeoff Today Program after successfully overcoming his own fear of flying. His programs and books on anxiety and fears have been seen in Psychology Today and Natural Health magazines, as well as on Discovery Health channel, and MSNBC. Jeffrey Skiles was the First Officer on Flight 1549, has been flying for over 34 years and has logged over 20,000 hours of flying time. For more information on the Takeoff Today Program or obtain a complimentary copy of the foreword authored by Jeffery Skiles, visit


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