FFE Magazine

Airplane turbulence how dangerous are They?

What you need to know about airplane Turbulence

Don’t let turbulence give you a scare. Take note of these facts straight from aviators.


News of passengers getting injuries during turbulence may cause panic among airline passengers. But aviators say there are few reasons to worry about turbulence. Get to  know the facts behind airplane turbulence to avoid unnecessary worries.


1. Turbulence itself is harmless. There are a lot of violent shakes and tossing during air turbulence. But these are simply ‘rough patches’ of wind caused by weather effects, geographic factors, jet stream and others that are all common in flights.


2. Pilots know when conditions are ripe for turbulence. Air reports and radar help pilots spot turbulent areas. This is why they are able to alert their passengers to fasten their seatbelts as the plane approaches the area.


3. Turbulence-related injuries are rare. America’s Federal Aviation Administration said there are around 30–60 cases of turbulence-related injuries each year. Majority of them also involve flight attendants. This is just a very small portion of the total number of passengers, 800 million, who fly to the US.


4. Clear air turbulence causes most turbulence-related injuries. Clear air turbulence occurs in cloudless skies, making them hard to be picked up by radar. This means the crew will have little time to alert passengers to buckle up.


5. Incidence of clear air turbulence is on the rise. Scientists say that the incidence of clear air turbulence can rise in the coming years, doubling by mid-21st century. This is due to global warming.


6. Turbulence doesn’t lead to plane crashes. Contrary to popular belief, turbulence does not lead to crashes. This is because planes are now designed to withstand the violence of air turbulence.


7. Pilots are trained to deal with turbulence. Pilots study weather patterns ahead of time to avoid areas with conditions ripe for turbulence. Pilots are also trained to deal with passengers who might panick during turbulence.


8. Obeying the seat belt sign is important. American federal statistics reported that most turbulence-related injuries happen when people were not wearing their seat belts. This means passengers have to take the seat belt sign seriously, and wear them even if the sign is unlit.


9. Bring a car seat for children. Car seats offer greater protection for children during turbulence. However, airlines have their own requirements for the type of car seats allowed on board.


10. Aviation technology may curb turbulence. Tests using lasers to spot turbulence may soon give pilots the ability to spot invisible conditions miles ahead, leading to smoother flights.



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