SkyGuru is a new app that offers to ease the stress of anxious fliers. SkyGuru is a new app that offers to ease the stress of anxious fliers. SkyGuru is a new app that offers to ease the stress of anxious fliers. (Photo: g-stockstudio/Shutterstock)

Here's how to cure your fear of flying

SkyGuru offers the same reassurance as a pilot sitting next to you on the flight, telling you what to expect and calming your fears.

If you're like me, flying makes you weak in the knees. So the prospect of having a pilot accompany you during flights to offer reassurance at every bump or unfamiliar sound is welcome indeed.

Of course, that's not feasible for the majority of us, so using new app SkyGuru isn't a bad fallback plan.

Developed by Israeli pilot Alex Gervash, who also happens to hold a degree in psychology from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, SkyGuru was designed to offer the same support a pilot would if he or she was sitting next to you during the flight.

"The app does not only give the necessary explanations of all the processes happening right there and then, but it also provides psychological support, giving calming messages and tips on how to control the passenger’s state during the flight," Gervash told From The Grapevine.

The product of a partnership between Gervash and mobile services developer Taktik Labs, the app’s performance was tested on more than 300 flights, and the system went through 730 different versions.

Pilot Alex Gervash decided to develop SkyGuru after failing to help his girlfriend overcome her fear of flying.Pilot Alex Gervash decided to develop SkyGuru after failing to help his girlfriend overcome her fear of flying. (Photo: SkyGuru)

It was actually Gervash's girlfriend who inspired him to develop the app. Having failed to help her overcome her own fear of flying, Gervash became curious about the underlying psychology that made people so afraid of being on an airplane.

What he learned was that a lack of understanding of how planes function as well as an overall lack of control leads some people to become anxious and fearful.

SkyGuru works to alleviate some of this discomfort by telling you what you should and shouldn't expect during the flight. It elaborates on external weather circumstances and provides commentary in flight in real time.

Despite the complexity of the app, it's actually pretty easy to use. Simply enter your flight number, date and departure time no more than 24 hours before departure, and the app starts to monitor the flight, confirming weather forecasts and other meteorological data.

Then, about an hour before the flight takes off, more personalized data becomes available, about the time you'll need your knees to be sturdy as you ready to board the plane.

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