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20/21MAY24 SQ321 LHR-SIN diverts to BKK [due to severe turbulence]

20/21MAY24 SQ321 LHR-SIN diverts to BKK [due to severe turbulence]

Old May 21, 2024, 5:00 pm
  #91  
 
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131 of the 211 passengers and 12 of the 18 crew returned to SIN on SQ9071.
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Old May 21, 2024, 5:37 pm
  #92  
 
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Originally Posted by commaspace
Turbulence is such a an innocent term. They need to use a different term because from the pictures, this plane hit a motherlode.

That sudden drop and head smashing against ceiling/ luggage bin enough to dent means the people who suffered impact could have pretty severe head trauma. Hope there's no more fatality or long-term injury.
Which is why, in aviation terms, turbulence is categorized in several ways. There are basically four categories, and two variants, used generally throughout the world, which are explained here:

https://www.boldmethod.com/blog/list...o-report-them/

This was likely a case of extreme turbulence...

Originally Posted by The Ginge
There is no need to worry about the plane, they are designed to take more than was encountered by the SQ flight.
...which is why this statement is potentially false. I expect the aircraft will be grounded for at least a few days for an initial inspection, and then, even if allowed to fly to a SQ facility, it will likely need extensive inspections and possible work.

Originally Posted by Thai-Kiwi
Really, avoiding reported tubulence this can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Other than using the weather radar to identify and try and avoid large thnderstorms, Pilots can (and do) report in bad weather/turbulence via Pilot Reports (PIREP), but it remains a ‘big sky’ and conditions reported by one aircraft may not be encountered by another. Thoughts are with all pax and crew affected by this rare event.
PIREP's (Pilot Report's) are less effective these days due to more direct routings. While aircraft used to fly on designated "highways" in the sky, the advent of Area Navigation and GPS has allowed more and more aircraft to fly much more direct routes. The downside to these direct routes is fewer aircraft transiting the same airspace on a regular basis to provide feedback and PIREPs. Trans-Oceanic routes are still more structured overall, but within sight of land or overland, this is a growing problem. With regard to avoiding thunderstorms, while radar is valuable, the old Mk I eyeball can be even moreso. Radars are very subject to GIGO (garbage in garbage out), so an error in the tilt of the radar can cause the sweep to miss the intended target area completely, and reading radar returns is a black art still, with attenuation and radar shadows all varying between settings and equipment.

As you say, this is a (thankfully) very rare event, and we hope those affected are doing well.
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Old May 21, 2024, 6:55 pm
  #93  
 
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Originally Posted by AJNEDC
Is there no possibility of avoiding such areas?
Nobody flies through a thunderstorm on purpose. You try and flight plan around major areas of convective activity. Once airborne you use radar to try and navigate around cells. Radar has some limitations and thunderstorms can build quickly. Occasionally someone blunders into the top of one not paying attention. Sometimes what looks like a safe route turns into a blind alley. Normally however you would have the cabin locked down when flying through a area of convective storms.
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Old May 21, 2024, 7:38 pm
  #94  
 
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Big issue on weather radars is that the weather radar sees the storm in front of you, but the energy from your radar is eaten up from that storm. There may be another cell behind it.
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Old May 21, 2024, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Firstboss
Not becoming one of those flying objects yourself definitely reduces the risk of injury
To both you and others
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Old May 21, 2024, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Jeff767
Nobody flies through a thunderstorm on purpose. You try and flight plan around major areas of convective activity. Once airborne you use radar to try and navigate around cells. Radar has some limitations and thunderstorms can build quickly. Occasionally someone blunders into the top of one not paying attention. Sometimes what looks like a safe route turns into a blind alley. Normally however you would have the cabin locked down when flying through a area of convective storms.
Thanks for the education.
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Old May 21, 2024, 8:07 pm
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Originally Posted by terbangalways
the pilots should have some awareness from previous data and trends over Bay of Bengal or ICZ ?

Buckling up is always a good idea. But this happens during a second final meal service. People would be up and around to use toilet etc.
No, its true that area is renowned for turbulence, but normally is predictable and the pilots get notification, but CAT can occur without warning.
I see nothing that could blame SQ.
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Old May 21, 2024, 8:27 pm
  #98  
 
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Originally Posted by chacor
Looks like the aircraft suffered a 6,000ft drop in 4 minutes from 37,000 to 31,000.
This is a rather meaningless parameter as this only proves that the acceleration was at least .42 ft/sec^2, which is nothing. If folks had hit the ceiling, then the acceleration at some point must have been greater than gravity (i.e., 32 ft/sec^2).
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Old May 21, 2024, 9:15 pm
  #99  
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For every complaint in this thread about an alleged failure by SQ or the flight crew to somehow avoid this unfortunate event, there are at least 10 FT threads complaining about over-cautious flight crew needlessly activating the seat belt light or pausing meal/beverage service due to anticipated turbulence. Sometimes the airlines just can't win.
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Old May 21, 2024, 10:15 pm
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Jeff767
Nobody flies through a thunderstorm on purpose.
No commercial flights do. The USAF 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron OTOH
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Old May 21, 2024, 10:28 pm
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Originally Posted by commaspace
Turbulence is such a an innocent term. They need to use a different term because from the pictures, this plane hit a motherlode..
I first learned the term from my Dad in my native Bulgarian. The literal translation is "air pit", although the second word has a variety of connotations, such as abyss and crater. More apt, I think.
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Old May 22, 2024, 12:23 am
  #102  
 
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Of course no one in right state of mind would.

Wondering how big is the CAT danger zone?
Luckily other similar routing flights / timing as SQ321 (BA15 or AF256 etc) managed to arrive SIN with no issue that day

Originally Posted by Jeff767
Nobody flies through a thunderstorm on purpose....Sometimes what looks like a safe route turns into a blind alley. Normally however you would have the cabin locked down when flying through a area of convective storms.
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Old May 22, 2024, 12:53 am
  #103  
 
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CAT can happen anywhere in clear skies at any time. "How big is the CAT danger zone" is literally… everywhere that's clear?
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Old May 22, 2024, 12:53 am
  #104  
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It is interesting seeing the news reports - some have to squeeze in the word Boeing in the headline to increase clicks / sensationalism while many others still report the 6,000 foot descend as the drop caused by the turbulence.
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Old May 22, 2024, 1:15 am
  #105  
 
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We are all like minded FT community, are all welcomed to express themselves (I hope!).

Whether it is suspected "turbulence" or etc ?
The outcome is still pending investigation from the relevant authorities (experts).

Originally Posted by Kacee
For every complaint in this thread about an alleged failure by SQ or the flight crew to somehow avoid this unfortunate event, there are at least 10 FT threads complaining about over-cautious flight crew needlessly activating the seat belt light or pausing meal/beverage service due to anticipated turbulence. Sometimes the airlines just can't win.
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