Rough Ride Transcon Yesterday

Old Mar 11, 16, 7:53 am
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Rough Ride Transcon Yesterday

Did anyone else experience a VERY bumpy ride across the midwest yesterday? I was on the 12:30p PDX-ATL flight and right around the Missouri/Nebraska/Kansas border we hit some bad turbulence. I've been in some rough air, but this was crazy.

767W, I was in a D1 seat. Guy across the aisle from me had just gotten a refresh on his glass of wine. By the end of the turbulence he was wearing it! In the forward galley they lost a few glasses to the floor.

Here's the Flight Aware track for our flight:
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/D.../KATL/tracklog

If you look around 6:15 you'll see where the captain began to descend rapidly, at a rate of about 5000'. We went from 39,000' to 21,000' in about 9-10 minutes, which isn't too terrible, but the entire time it was very bumpy. You could hear the relief in the captain's voice when he came on the PA after things smoothed out.
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Old Mar 11, 16, 8:03 am
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There's no way you descended at 5000'. 500' per minute is standard. Even a 1000' would be pushing it.

5000' would require the noise be pointed at the ground and we'll outside operating limits.
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Old Mar 11, 16, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
There's no way you descended at 5000'. 500' per minute is standard. Even a 1000' would be pushing it.

5000' would require the noise be pointed at the ground and we'll outside operating limits.
I just listed the rate that showed up on Flight Aware.
Also, if you drop 20,000' in less than 10 minutes that is well over 500' per minute. That's closer to a 2000' per minute average. Also, I'm not a pilot, and maybe one can weigh in, but I'm pretty sure the standard descent rate on an airliner is closer to 1800' per minute.

At the beginning of the turbulence we were definitely nose down (obviously not straight down) for a good minute. I'm on a lot of flights and I've never seen a nose down at that angle.

Last edited by DCAproducer; Mar 11, 16 at 8:28 am
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Old Mar 11, 16, 9:09 am
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Just encountered a pretty decent bit of chop over Texas/Oklahoma LAX-ATL.
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Old Mar 11, 16, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by DCAproducer View Post
Did anyone else experience a VERY bumpy ride across the midwest yesterday? I was on the 12:30p PDX-ATL flight and right around the Missouri/Nebraska/Kansas border we hit some bad turbulence. I've been in some rough air, but this was crazy.

You could hear the relief in the captain's voice when he came on the PA after things smoothed out.
Glad you are all safe.
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Old Mar 11, 16, 9:25 am
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I might be crazy, but I rather enjoy turbulence from time to time. I know the plane isn't going to crash, so I'm able to get a bit of a thrill out of it.

If it gets to the point where drinks are getting splashed everywhere though, maybe not.
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Old Mar 11, 16, 9:54 am
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On Delta 1107 (ATL-SEA) yesterday (10/10), we had light to moderate chop for the entire flight. Initial climb to FL320, then several instances of hunting for a less turbulent altitude -- all the way down to 16,000ft, then back up to FL320. On several occasions the flight attendants suspended cabin service and harnessed up. Had I not held my wine glass, I might have been wearing the wine.

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/...032Z/KATL/KSEA
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Old Mar 11, 16, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
There's no way you descended at 5000'. 500' per minute is standard. Even a 1000' would be pushing it.

5000' would require the noise be pointed at the ground and we'll outside operating limits.
If ATC says "expedite your descent through flight level 200", the pilot would pull the speed brakes out keeping their speed up, and the plane would descend with the rate of descent pegged or close to it. Happens routinely.
A normal rate of descent up at higher altitudes is 2 to 3000 fpm.

In moderate turbulence their speed might have been reduced making a maximum rate per minute descent not possible.
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Old Mar 11, 16, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by WWads View Post
I might be crazy, but I rather enjoy turbulence from time to time. I know the plane isn't going to crash, so I'm able to get a bit of a thrill out of it.

If it gets to the point where drinks are getting splashed everywhere though, maybe not.
I don't mind it too much either - I have fun with other passengers - my wife included!!!
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Old Mar 11, 16, 1:38 pm
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It isnt a pretty picture out there for Turbulence today-a lot of color: http://www.turbulenceforecast.com/pireps.php.

What is quite unusual is there are actual reports of Severe turbulence at FL320+ which means a commercial aircraft. Many reports of SEV will be at lower altitudes not a cruise. Hang on!
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Old Mar 11, 16, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by GRALISTAIR View Post
I don't mind it too much either - I have fun with other passengers - my wife included!!!
Turbulence is never fun with my wife
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Old Mar 11, 16, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by DLATL777 View Post
It isnt a pretty picture out there for Turbulence today-a lot of color: http://www.turbulenceforecast.com/pireps.php.

What is quite unusual is there are actual reports of Severe turbulence at FL320+ which means a commercial aircraft. Many reports of SEV will be at lower altitudes not a cruise. Hang on!
That map shows turbulence exactly where we hit it yesterday. The pilot said the higher altitudes were rougher than lower. We pretty much stayed at FL200 across Missouri before going back up.

When we first started descending I switched over to the flight data on the IFE and while it doesn't update in real time, we were losing altitude fast. Once we got down to 20k' it smoothed out.

I don't mind turbulence, but this was very reminiscent of a roller coaster.
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Old Mar 11, 16, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
500' per minute is standard.
For a landing Cessna 172.....
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Old Mar 11, 16, 2:21 pm
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I flew LAX-JFK 3:30pm in AA yesterday, it was bumpier than usual roughly (no pun intended) halfway through. The pilot later apologized and noted everyone else flying went through the same thing. But my flight doesn't show any altitude changes nearly as dramatic as OP's on flightaware (http://flightaware.com/live/flight/A.../KJFK/tracklog). I use flightaware commonly and hadn't previously noticed this altitude graph feature before, thanks for pointing it out OP!
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Old Mar 11, 16, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
There's no way you descended at 5000'. 500' per minute is standard. Even a 1000' would be pushing it.

5000' would require the noise be pointed at the ground and we'll outside operating limits.
AF 447 descended at a rate of 11,000 FPM.

5000 FPM can be a good ROC or ROD

http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/m...r/7110.65S.pdf

see appendix A
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