Turbulence facts
April 14th, 2013 by elisa

Turbulence - picture by Flickr user plattypus_of_new_york

Turbulence – picture by Flickr user plattypus_of_new_york

We’ve all felt uncomfortable at best, and downright scared at worst when we experience a bumpy and turbulent ride on a flight. However, the problem is only going to grow with turbulence on transatlantic routes likely to increase and be up to 40% stronger by 2050: but is turbulence dangerous?

In an article published on Travelmole, Boeing and British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) assured passengers of the facts. Here’s a lowdown:

1. Turbulence rarely causes any serious problems as long as passengers remain seated with their seat belts on.

2. Aircraft are built to withstand a 2.5g force load without even minor damage, and with storms rarely exceeding 1g load on an aircraft, there is no risk.

3. The pilots are strapped in to their seats in harnesses similar to fighter pilots, so they will never lose control, even in strong turbulence that is jolting passengers around in their seats.

4. Most turbulence-related injuries are as a result of unsecured items in the cabin. It is the crew who are most likely to be affected as they are standing most of the time.

5. Although most pilots will try to avoid turbulence where possible, they don’t always know it is there. Also, aircraft can’t deviate too far from the assigned flight path in busy air space, so it is sometimes necessary to fly through it.

6. It is considered common courtesy for pilots to warn other pilots of rough patches and if and where they have found clear air. Air traffic control can’t see the thunderstorms that cause the most turbulence and can only have an indication of turbulent areas from pilot reports.

The best chance of ensuring the most comfortable ride is to fly on the largest, most modern aircraft, as these are designed to lessen the impact of turbulence on passengers.



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