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Turbulence incidents, reports, discussion master thread

Turbulence incidents, reports, discussion master thread

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Old Aug 27, 16, 9:23 am   -   Wikipost
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Turbulence incidents, reports, discussion master thread

DEFINITION: Aircraft turbulence (American Meteorological Society)

Irregular motion of an aircraft in flight, especially when characterized by rapid up-and-down motion, caused by a rapid variation of atmospheric wind velocities.

This can occur in cloudy areas (particularly towering cumulus and lenticular clouds) and in clear air. Turbulence is the leading cause of nonfatal passenger and flight attendant injuries. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) classifies aircraft turbulence as follows:

Light: Causes slight, erratic changes in altitude and/or attitude, and rhythmic bumpiness as occupants feel a slight strain against seat belts.

Moderate: Similar to light, but of greater intensity, with rapid bumps or jolts, and occupants feel a slight strain against seat belts.

Severe: Turbulence that causes large, abrupt changes in altitude and attitude, and large variations in airspeed, with the aircraft temporarily out of control. Occupants are forced violently against their seat belts and objects are tossed about, with food service and walking impossible.

Extreme: The aircraft is tossed about so violently that it is practically impossible to control, and structural damage may occur.


Incident:.AA 280 ICN - DFW on December 16 2014 local time, operated by a Boeing 777-223ER and carrying 240 passengers and 15 crew, was subjected to a prolonged period of moderate turbulence and two minute-long sessions of severe turbulence near Japan. The aircraft diverted to NRT, where four passengers and one crew member were taken to hospital for evaluation and treatment; no serious injuries were reported.

The other passengers were bussed to a local hotel, and another aircraft took them to their DFW destination today. The aircraft was taken out of service for inspection for possible damage.

(Summary by JDiver from news sources and member calexandre, who was on board.)

Originally Posted by AA spokesperson Andrea Huguely
“American Airlines Flight 280, a Boeing 777-200 from Seoul (ICN) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) has diverted to Tokyo (NRT) because of turbulence during the flight. There are 240 passengers and a crew of 15.
FlyerTalk member calexandre was on board. B]Link[/B] to member calexandre's photos in cabin.

Link to in-cabin raw video footage on YouTube

Link to Dallas Morning News article

Link to CNBC article

Link to (UK Daily) Mail Online (gets it all wrong -"Boeing 747-200") but decent graphics, including map

Link to Tokyo TV 50 video and interviews with two passengers (Japanese language)

Link to weather.com video taken on flight and explanation of probable turbulence source

Link to to video off Boeing destructive 777 wing test (exceeded 153% of expected highest stresses expected)



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Old Dec 17, 14, 12:12 am
  #31  
 
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One thing that pictures cannot capture- which the video does- is the shear panic in the cabin. Grappling with the physical issues- the motion, the jostling, as well as liquid, glass, food, bags an stuff flying loose- is one thing. Then of course your own feelings as you are trying to remain calm and assess. But when the visceral panic of other passengers becomes amplified through the screaming, crying, praying...it really is an experience that can overwhelm many.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 12:34 am
  #32  
 
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Just boarded the replacement flight and the FA advised us that yesterday's plane has been taken out of service because the wings are "rippled and bent." Yikes.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 12:52 am
  #33  
 
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Just got off a JFK - LHR flight. Glad I didn't watch that video before flying. I'm sitting in the AC waiting for my connection and I'm sick to my stomach.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 1:03 am
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by calexandre View Post
Just boarded the replacement flight and the FA advised us that yesterday's plane has been taken out of service because the wings are "rippled and bent." Yikes.
Same crew from yesterday?
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Old Dec 17, 14, 1:13 am
  #35  
 
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Here's a link to the definitions of types of aircraft turbulence from the American Meteorological Society.

It sounds like this flight was bordering between severe and extreme. I was in severe once, a TW 727 that flew through a tornadic thunderstorm flying from STL to OKC. I verified this the following day by looking at the radar records when visiting the National Severe Storms Laboratory. It was not fun.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 1:21 am
  #36  
 
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Yeah definitely never been in anything that bad, nor would I want to be!

I've found that the Northern Pacific consistently has bad turbulence. When I flew back from Hong Kong - DFW earlier this fall - for some reason we took a southerly route on the outskirts of a typhoon and the turbulence was bad. We had water flying and some stuff moving around, but nothing like the pictures seen here. Also had some passengers making noises and looking nervously out the window (but it was night). The biggest concern I had with that route was just how far away from land we were at the time (well south of Japan). If we got caught in something similar to what this video had - not sure where we could have landed.

I wonder if there are issues with AA's NorPac routings?

Feel for the passengers and hopefully they at least got some good comp out of it.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 6:10 am
  #37  
 
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After looking at the pictures, watching the video, and reading the comments from calexandre, I am utterly amazed at modern aircraft.

I'm interested to hear follow up on the FA's report of wings being "ripped and bent". Seems far fetched to me, but I'll wait to hear.

Very glad everyone is okay and going back to their families. This year has been such a tragic one for commercial flights, especially the 777, so I'm glad this was not some kind of another statistic!
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Old Dec 17, 14, 6:42 am
  #38  
 
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I might be the only one but I wont even click on the YouTube link, I can feel myself getting panicked just thinking about what it shows on that video.

Coming back from LAS-DCA on Monday we hit some bad what the pilot called "geographic turbulence". Was beautiful weather outside and then BAM. Absolutely nothing like this though, probably a 2 on a scale of 1-10. Silverware and trays bounced around pretty good, that was it. But to someone who hates turbulence - me - its always awful. Good news was thats normally a 4:20 or so flight and we made it in under 4.

Gotta say the FA working First was great, she calmed every down, always was walking slow, never panicked. IMO the way that the FA's handle situations like this can make all the difference.

OP - Glad you are safe and uninjured.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 7:18 am
  #39  
 
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Good to know..

Hi there,

After watching the video and seeing pictures, I hope I am never
in a similar situation. Good to know that only minor injuries were
reported. It was also strangely comforting that the equipment
was able to handle such severe weather and made it back to
the airport in one piece ! That gives me lot of hope and assurance
about airline flying. As someone pointed out, with newer technology
pilots can avoid the weather well in advance..That will be nice !

F.A.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 8:12 am
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
That video is terrifying. The person taking it clearly thought he might die. Flying to LHR on Friday, putting my trust in the professionals of AA as always.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 8:24 am
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by calexandre View Post
Here are a few from my phone. Not the best thanks to both the ongoing jiggling of the plane and the crappy camera on the iPhone 4s. Maybe next time I'm in severe turbulence I'll have upgraded to the 6.

http://imgur.com/a/LzWRz
Thanks for sharing - scary!

Glad you are ok.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 8:51 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
Yikes. If I had been on that flight I'd probably looking for the quickest BOAT from japan to the states . . .
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Old Dec 17, 14, 9:20 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by econometrics View Post
After looking at the pictures, watching the video, and reading the comments from calexandre, I am utterly amazed at modern aircraft.

I'm interested to hear follow up on the FA's report of wings being "ripped and bent". Seems far fetched to me, but I'll wait to hear.

Very glad everyone is okay and going back to their families. This year has been such a tragic one for commercial flights, especially the 777, so I'm glad this was not some kind of another statistic!
Aircraft are essentially "overbuilt" and built to survive these kinds of events, but it's only normal that an aircraft subjected to this degree of turbulence is at least temporarily withdrawn from use for a very thorough inspection before being restored to service.

I'd fly a transpacific 777 today in a heartbeat. But possibly most passengers don't have the knowledge and confidence some others do; I eas passively listening to some qf8 pax describing the turbulence we encountered earlier this month and you'd have thought we had been subjected to abnormally severe forces and were at great peril. Not even close; I merely assured my seat belt was secure and rolled over.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 9:23 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Aircraft are essentially "overbuilt" and built to survive these kinds of events...
True! It makes me think of the 777 wing-bend test Boeing did. Always amazes me how far they were able to push it before it broke.
JDiver and obscure2k like this.
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Old Dec 17, 14, 9:23 am
  #45  
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The first minute of that video is clearly very disturbing and scary. That 3rd bump...that was the biggie or at least it appeared to be. The sounds of horror coming from the passengers really puts a perspective on it. I know we all know that modern aircraft are designed to handle this type of turbulence but I will tell you right now if I was on that flight I'd be shaking like there is no tomorrow scared out of my mind.
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