Five passengers injured by "severe turbulence" on United Airlines flight following several dozen on Hawaiian Airlines yesterday

Originally published at: Five passengers injured by "severe turbulence" on United Airlines flight following several dozen on Hawaiian Airlines yesterday | Boing Boing


Ummm that post image…

Umm No GIFs | Tenor


Jesus, that’s brutal. I’ve been through some pretty bad turbulence before, but nothing like this.
I was on a flight from DFW to IND one time and it was rough. At one point, the plane seemed to just flipping drop like a rock for a distance and my stomach was in my throat.


Is it weird that my first thought is “things can get that bad inside the plane and they still manage to land safely – wow, air travel must be really safe”? I mean, I already knew it was.


I’ve been in some bad turbulence as well, maybe compared to this it wasn’t as bad. Glad i don’t travel by air much


Around the equator in the Pacific is where I got my roughest shakes. During one plummet, I started counting the seconds - partly out of curiosity, partly to calm myself (“no, we haven’t been falling for a full minute”). I got to seven, which still seemed like an awfully long time for the plane to be falling that hard.


Looks like footage of me playing Microsoft Flight Simulator.


The Intertropical Convergence Zone. Article doesn’t say it was the culprit but it’s the same area in the Atlantic where Air France 447 went down.


Holy shit.


I’m pretty pushy when people nearby me on planes don’t wear their safety belts.

“You might not be worried about becoming a human pinata if we hit turbulence, but I would prefer not to have you hit me as a projectile at several hundred miles per hour. Thanks.”


I grew up in the state next to one of the most active areas for thunderstorms in Venezuela

The state i grew up in was known for very formidable strong coastal winds. One of the worst moments of turbulence was taking off in a small old commercial plane, the kind with propellers from like the 60-70s that sat maybe 20 people. Once we were in the air i don’t know if i would call what we encountered was turbulence, it was more like a roller coaster. I could feel the plane get pushed vertically up and down many feet for about 5-10 minutes, quite terrifying but thankfully i was a kid at the time so it’s kind of like a vague fever dream for me and didn’t really traumatize me from flying in the least.


It’s strange to have two stories like this in such rapid succession. I haven’t seen anything about it yet, but can imagine more stuff like this being tied to climate change. :grimacing:


There’s a reason airlines advised passengers to use the seat belt at all times.


Yikes, I would have gone from happy, to wishing I was dead instead of experiencing that much turbulence, then being happy I was still alive. Never experienced enough turbulence to eject me from my seat, and I never, ever want to.


My best/worst to date was a trip from western Europe (London maybe? it’s been a minute) to South Africa. As soon as we got over the Mediterranean and into the north African deserts things went berserk. Wine dripping from the overhead storage, while I gripped my dinner tray to keep it from joining the liquids, is my most vivid memory There was also the bit where a flight attendant tackled a passenger in the aisle who was trying to reach the lav. Crazy. Went on for a half hour or more.

I was oddly placid through it all. I’m not generally a nervous flyer but turbulence can make me a bit uneasy. This was different. I’ve always attributed it to excitement for my first trip to Africa. Wish I could summon that sense of well being these days.


In the 1970s, on the east coast of Australia, my dad was riding in a prop-driven commercial flight that hit an air pocket and dropped like a stone. He was holding a saucer, and his coffee cup was sitting on the saucer. The cup floated up to eye level. The space race was still fresh in his memory, and he remembers thinking that if he grabbed the cup, he could pull the cup down but the coffee would stay up there. So he sat very still, and kept the saucer under the cup. After a few seconds the cup slowly descended towards the saucer, and gently landed with a small clatter. Might’ve spilled a couple drops, no more.


Sailors have a saying about seasickness: for the first 10 minutes, you’re afraid you might die. After that, you’re afraid you might not die.


This kind of stuff is freaky, and I certainly grip my armrests in abject terror anytime I encounter turbulence as a passenger. But in reality, turbulence does not generally cause aircraft disasters. I keep telling myself that, and it usually works.

US airlines have gone more than 20 years without a crash. The last major weather-related crash in the US was in 1982, and that was a downburst near ground level, rather than turbulence.


Planes are really strong. A few years ago there was a jet plane that survived over 5 G’s due to a control issue, and while it didn’t have passengers weighing down the cabin in that flight, 5 G’s is rather a lot: Flying the Unflyable Plane: The near crash of Air Astana flight 1388 | by Admiral Cloudberg | Oct, 2022 | Medium


1/2 g t^2 ~ 800 feet (assuming you were falling fast enough to get to zero gee inside), which isn’t that much compared to 30,000 feet cruising altitude? Forty-five seconds, now, that’s less good.

(1 g = 32 ft / sec^2, please forgive the Imperial units)

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