3 Cases of Severe Flight Turbulence Reported This Week

Geoff Boyle

Here's an interesting piece of info that may supplement another thread that has just been posted. Experiencing moderate turbulence in-flight isn't uncommon, though airline accidents and injuries resulting from severe turbulence are pretty rare. Especially back to back incidents within a 5-day time frame.

- On February 23, an American Airlines flight approaching LAX experienced severe turbulence. The aircraft involved allegedly had to make an emergency decent due to light damage resulting from the turbulence. The plane landed safely.

- On February 27, a Virgin Atlantic flight VS043 encountered severe turbulence on route from Gatwick to Las Vegas. Apparently one of the stewardesses started screaming "We're going to crash!" which freaked out some of the passengers. One man reportedly hit his head on a luggage bin. A couple of other passengers happened to be in the lavatories at the time and ended up being stuck there for a while.

- On February 28, an hour out of Honolulu, JALways flight 71 encountered severe turbulence on route to Tokyo. Unfortunately, the passengers weren't wearing their seat belts at the time. Two passengers suffered minor injuries and were treated in Japan after the plane landed.

I guess these events have to do with the unusually strong winds in the atmosphere.

More can be found here:

Good day,

Cores of jet streams tend to have turbulence associated with them, especially on the northern (poleward) side of them in the northern hemisphere. This is often above the location of the surface "polar front".

The nature of this turbulence is CAT (Clear Air Turbulence) ... Little (thin cirrus) or no clouds are associated with it. This is bad since there is no warning (except for pilot reports of other planes in the area expecting it).

EVERYTIME I fly, I ALWAYS keep the seat belt fastened, whether or not the seat-belt sign is lit!

Chris C - KG4PJN
I've heard accounts of those heavy beverage carts going airborne and passengers who break their necks hitting the ceiling of the cabin during severe CAT. A friend of mine is a flight attendant for Southwest and told me that some of his fellow cabin crew refer to children who sit in parents' laps rather than a car seat as "meat missiles".

Needless to say, I've always paid the extra expense to have my children in their own seat and in a car seat even when I could have had them in my lap at no extra charge.
Clear air turbulence (CAT) forecasts:

The major rule of thumb is...

If the G-Forces experienced during turbulence exceed variations as little as 1-G (1 earth gravity), that means there will be a weightless condition. If that happens, ANYTHING not strapped down would float / slam into something, whether it is a person, heavy beverage / food art, or laptop computer!

In severe turbulence, variations of 1.2 G are common. That means your innocent PDA or laptop itself can become a missile ... And can KILL!

Chris C - KG4PJN
ok so i read this thread and decide to just email the URL to my dad knowing he might find this read interesting. Well little do I know hes in ops in JFK studying this in preparation for his flight to DFW. Timing couldnt have been better.
"Apparently one of the stewardesses started screaming "We're going to crash!"

i really wonder if she is s till working for them , that is a huge no no