'Plane Whisperer' Helps Others Overcome Fear of Flying

How a retired USAF pilot-turned therapist helps people work through their in-flight anxiety.
7:26 | 05/02/14

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Transcript for 'Plane Whisperer' Helps Others Overcome Fear of Flying
For many flying loneliness and terror -- experience. We got. -- 35 years. But then the mere thought of being trapped in a plane 30000 feet -- fewer -- -- Chest -- I could barely breathe cleaner. -- in this document -- here upon. Caught on camera. And that's why these men and women are -- that we're waiting for him to open the door. This retired air force pilot turned therapist is the plane -- For those deathly afraid of -- This is captain Ron Nielsen's newest -- -- Phoenix Arizona's sky harbor international airport. They have one week to overcome the life of anxiety but for many is deep and painful sense of shame. Really so fast it's sort of -- created. It's estimated 25% of all flyers. Have some degree of fear. For this group that's moderate to severe and that despite knowing the number ones and your chances of dying in a plane crashes one in sixty million no matter how frequently you flying. An -- I feel like an attitude of death. -- -- -- -- -- -- Cause. Hollywood's made a profit off of that fear for generations of blockbuster movies like flight. From make believe to real life drama. And that Malaysian airline mystery has the global and age and those truly afraid of flying in and near panic commission -- -- Silk mill grove is a real estate agent by day. Member of Iraq's stand by nine week. This mother of three with an NBA is fearless in most faces of her life but put her on an airplane. For some reason my brain attacks my body it tells me I'm gonna die -- and they jump up and I go to that the flight attendants -- say. I'm scared I don't -- -- -- anymore. So when you get -- just -- -- -- and pretend like you own the think this is the fourth time she's taking captain -- clients. -- her motivation pretty simple I went taken to Disney world in Florida not happen. -- I can't be on the plane for four I just can't and I'm afraid panicked seeing. With them. And I -- then what would happen part of. What suing the others will learn they sure anxiety had all the classed as a welcome aboard a plane they've been reassured won't take off. -- here -- all of us pain. Information captain tells them is key to overcoming -- what I -- for most people is the first thing they need to do is give themselves permission. To be afraid. Pursue in the other it's easier said than done. In seven days they'll go from the classroom to a real flights. Phoenix to Burbank California and back home thanks -- going to -- make -- if you're going to gamble. Why not gamble. When no matter what it takes and many keep putting myself in that plane and if -- embarrass myself. Soviet. It's Saturday morning -- Phoenix airport is the third and final stages class college graduation day but who will pass. I feel little nervous little anxious and then seedlings Willie used to fly -- whatever job. After a panic attack meant flying she stopped flying and changed jobs and then -- like six or seven years since I've flown. I need to accomplish this task -- this is something -- put up for a long time Ross McGinley steer flying kept him from attending his own parents Gary. Why I didn't think I shouldn't expect its troops from again it's it's painful incident very. Good news is shameful and it's shameful -- and that everybody seems -- -- -- -- This yes and flown in 35 years after hearing impairment and they shall soon see for Jessica it will take all that -- her husband and their children she's never flown before. But first a quick tip from captain -- distractions he says are good thing. Bring a book music anything that takes your mind off -- anxiety eagle pass this the food court -- drinking straw. Get on the airplane. And read scripture breathing through the straw if you can control your breathing. For the first two minutes of flight you've got 90% of the battle it. -- holding. We got Jessica -- -- -- She took a pill to take to get jobs. -- we got connected with the window. What happens when you take -- medication. -- -- -- But what -- you from what happens is and you end up inducing some -- -- it. Captain Nielsen says no alcohol no drugs unless prescribed by -- physician self medication he says might only add to your anxiety and Jessica -- -- at that. This cycle but -- would focus on anything. -- -- -- you should be focusing on. And no I don't -- Minutes later Muster a surprise. Jessica is -- actually enjoying herself. Am very well. -- -- Let them that -- -- not. It's my first time flying. Getting. -- beautiful. And just this class maintenance. Joy of overcoming her fear overwhelms its life. The world to open. The landing was his smooth -- -- -- Jessica spoke shall we say. Screamed for everyone in the class. By everyone but Ross. Although we kept quiet the entire flight he was horrified the community and -- they were driving back. He inside the overwhelming. He decided to drive back to Phoenix alone in the car for six with more regrets. -- -- -- -- -- But remember it's taken soon before classes to get to this. It was in -- It's need her flights today it's. Yeah. As for the rest of the flying so I'd love to take credit for but it has nothing to do with me. It's always sit there with you -- Captain Ron rewards that with a certificate. It is once again you've you've cheated death -- my -- remaining but their real reward is having traveled from -- -- -- fearless. But little adventure -- complaint issued an adventure at Soledad. And -- people who don't who have fear at doing that that part. If you can't have control of things that you know what I think the best part is not happening -- not -- -- -- I mean just letting -- now. For Nightline I'm Byron Pitts in Phoenix.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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