My mom and dad visited from Wisconsin last week and we were talking about flying. My parents love to fly, but we have a family friend who's pretty much terrified of it. I went through the same sort of spell for a while. A couple of years ago I read The Flying Book. There's no magic to this title, it just tells you everything that's going on in an airplane as you're riding in it. I read this on a flight and I relaxed a lot. I read it before a second flight some months later and now flying is something that's really enjoyable for me again. Here's a link to the title on Amazon:
The Flying Book : Everything You've Ever Wondered about Flying on Airplanes
This is one book that lives up to the seemingly hyperbolic claims of its subtitle. Blatner, the author of books on mathematics, digital imaging, and virtual reality, is also a pilot who has logged hundreds of hours in the air. Concentrating on commercial aviation, he offers a compendium of fascinating facts.
I found an extremely insightful review on Amazon that effectively sums up how the book works:
...So, Blatner sets about explaining everything about every aspect of how planes work -- so that you have fewer gaps in your knowledge to fill with worst-case scenarios.
I like that definition of fear; gaps in your knowlege that you fill with worst case scenarios.