Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:06 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Turbulence is the reason for inflight injuries of crew and passengers. Turbulence is defined as follows :

Light turbulence---  Light turbulence - briefly causes slight, erratic changes in altitude and/or attitude, slight strain against seat belts, little or no diffuculty in walking, service may be conducted.

Moderate turbulence - similar to light turbulence, but greater intensity. Changes in altitude/attitude occur. Aircraft remains in control at all times. Variations in indicated air speed. Occupants feel strain against seat belts, unsecured objects are dislodged, service and walking is difficult.

Severe turbulence - large, abrupt changes in altitude/attitude. Large variation in indicated airspeed. Aircraft may be temporarily out of control. Occupants are forced violently against seat belts, unsecured objects are tossed about, service and walking are impossible.

Extreme turbulence - aircraft is violently tossed about and is impossible to control. May cause structural damage.

There have been numerous incidents/ accidents associated with turbulence and associated factors. Recent one to have turbulence  associated injuries is  Qantas 32 A380 from London to Sydney over India Ocean. Despite having seatbelts turned on, announcement done, the passengers non compliance  to use seatbelts, have resulted in  injuries of passengers.

How can we the industry address this problem??

Following initiatives and procedures if reinforced will help spread awareness and compliance, and avoid passengers from getting injured in future and make air safe travel.

  •  Preflight weather briefing can help in identifying areas of suspected turbulence to the flight path and the information passed on to cabin crew during briefing.

  • Seat belts shall be switched on when turbulence is anticipated or encountered, to ensure safety is not compromised.

  • PA announcement  from both flight and cabin crew will help in preparing the passengers for the turbulence.

  •  Airline SOP and compliance by flight and cabin crew addressing the seatbelts and turbulence scenario

  • It is advisable to switch on seatbelts and make an announcement when anticipating or encountering turbulence, and monitor compliance by passengers to ensure safety is assured.

Write in to us with your views on seatbelts usage and reinforcing it especially during turbulence scenario.

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