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Old 07-31-2011, 04:48 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,854 posts, read 20,160,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doobage View Post
What a freak! Here's to hoping I never set foot on a plane while he's at the wheel...
If it will make you feel any better, this occurred in 1988 .... Hopefully this "pilot" was reported and relieved of his responsibilities. Unfortunately, I don't know which airline it was that she flew but it was a Miami to LAX flight.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,657,689 times
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The worst I ever experienced was years ago on a short night flight from Shreveport, LA to Dallas. We passed right through a severe thunderstorm which had us all reaching for the bags.

The plane was bucking like a wild bronc, the wings looked like they were trying to flap like a bird and lightning balls were rolling around on their surface.

The ground never looked or felt so good.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:39 AM
 
12,275 posts, read 18,397,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
Just wondering who has been in severe turbulence. I've had some bumpy rides, but definitely nothing to call severe turbulence. How often is it really common?

My worst was probably a trans-atlantic flight and the pilot said for all flight attendants to stop what they were doing and fasten their seat belts. Made me mash my head on the window a couple times. It definitely puts you in your place 35,000 feet above a pitch black ocean.
You know, with 50,000 flight miles or more a year on average for the last 20 years, it seems to be getting less and less of a problem. I remember some hairy flights when I first started traveling, and I have seen and experienced just about everything (and I am somewhat amused at the anticdotes of the occasional flyer). I guess technology has improved with inflight radar, doppler, computerized route mapping, to avoid turbulence, etc. Another thing, as has been pointed out, turbulence is all relative to the individual. Aircraft can take alot of abuse over and above what one experiences in even the most turbulent flight, and cargo planes, not worrying about passenger comfort, will fly through the bumps and drops without a concern through turbulence which would turn any passenger white with terror.

The worst turbulence seems to come while flying over the mountains (the front range of the rockies, the sierras) with the complex and unpredictable up and down drafts...or on the approach to landing in bad weather. Still - it's not a big deal.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:56 PM
 
12,120 posts, read 28,537,570 times
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Default flying back to NY from Atlanta in 2009

we sat on the runway for 40 minutes waiting for the storm to pass. about 10 min utes after take off the plane drops alarmingly, 90% of the passengers screaming. after it ended a bunch of guys laughed loudly and clapped

after that the pilot apologized, saying the only way to have taken off without wasting even more time was to fly that route with the turbulence

today's flight to NY from Atl had some nasty turbulence, and after seeing the crew walking around with sickness bags it made me queasy
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
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I just recently flew from Colombo to Mumbai, and later Mumbai to Singapore. Both flights had quite a bit of turbulence, so much so that I was very unsure about sleeping across three seats, as it was a night flight and no one else was in my row.

I'm wondering if India wind patterns in general have a lot of turbulence. I've also always had turbulence anytime I've gone over Japan.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,022 posts, read 54,523,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
Just wondering who has been in severe turbulence. I've had some bumpy rides, but definitely nothing to call severe turbulence. How often is it really common?

My worst was probably a trans-atlantic flight and the pilot said for all flight attendants to stop what they were doing and fasten their seat belts. Made me mash my head on the window a couple times. It definitely puts you in your place 35,000 feet above a pitch black ocean.

I read not long ago that the number one on-the-job injury for flight attendants are head injuries due to turbulence.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,022 posts, read 54,523,130 times
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The worst flight I remember was on the old People's Express, Baltimore-Washington International to Newark. It was only about a 45-minute flight, so by the time you reached cruising altitude, it was almost time to start the descent. We took off in a rainstorm and the plane was rocking and bumping the whole way. At one point I saw my soda suspended in the air above the cup on my tray, and then it splashed back down. It was very quiet on the plane and I could hear people mumbling prayers. I just kept looking out the window at the blackness trying to see something, anything, and then all of a sudden I saw rain on blacktop and we were landing.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:26 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,327,070 times
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I travelled a lot for work .... 50,000 - 80,000 miles a year for quite a few years. And yet, I cannot really remember any bad turbulence. Mostly it was what one might call "light chop". The worst I can remember is coming in over the English Channel with Swissair. Suddenly the plane was all over the place and the flight attendant near me was knocked over. It lasted about 5-10 seconds and then all was smooth again. The pilot came on and said he though another aircraft had just gone through that bit of air.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:44 PM
 
8,335 posts, read 9,794,366 times
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In all the years I flew for the airlines, my exposure to what meets the definition of 'severe' turbulence is limited. It's uncommon. What causes most people to get all white-knuckled in the back is normally light turbulence. In thunderstorms moderate occurs with regularity, and that will cause people to actually start praying and panicking in the back. Been deadheading as a passenger many times and have seen it happen. Moderate and we would tell the FA's to sit down. You will be at risk of injury if walking or standing. The best is when people claim "Oh my god we just dropped 500 feet!" Uh no, maybe 20. 20 foot variations on our altimeter at cruising speeds = a rough, rough ride with yourself being forced into the seat an seatbelts strongly. Dropping 500 feet in a plane the size and weight of an average airliner would imply extreme (the worst category) turbulence with the aircraft out of control and at risk of inflight breakup, a true emergency, and the pilots would even be praying at that point...thankfully I've never been in extreme. True severe means the pilots are unable to maintain full control of the aircraft and are experiencing bouts where the aircraft is momentarily out of control. Food on trays will be flying, if anyone is up they will be smacked up against the ceiling or thrown into the wall, luggage bins could pop open. I did experience severe several times, mostly in thunderstorms or in mountain waves. The worst was CAT- clear air turbulence. Means it happens without warning in good weather. It was in winter when the jet stream is lower in both altitude and latitude. Occurred late in the afternoon as we crossed the jet stream on the polar side where the gradients are stronger. We had to divert the flight due the flight attendant hitting and being plastered on the ceiling. The cockpit panels are able to absorb some movements thanks to a 'suspension' system of sorts that they are installed onto, and that turbulence was still shaking the instruments so badly that the lcd screens were unreadable (similar to taking and lcd alarm clock and shaking it..it gives an unreadable strobing effect). We later found out she had received a severe concussion. So yeah, keep your seat belt on all the time.

Didn't post this scare anyone, but rather to reinforce that a large majority of turbulence is well within the abilities of the pilots to deal with, as well as within the load limits the aircraft can sustain. Seeing the wings 'flapping' up and down in turbulence can be unnerving, but they are meant to do so. Severe happens, but is uncommon.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Manila
1,144 posts, read 1,579,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I just recently flew from Colombo to Mumbai, and later Mumbai to Singapore. Both flights had quite a bit of turbulence, so much so that I was very unsure about sleeping across three seats, as it was a night flight and no one else was in my row.

I'm wondering if India wind patterns in general have a lot of turbulence. I've also always had turbulence anytime I've gone over Japan.
Regarding Japan, I remembered taking a Northwest flight back in Jan 2007 from Tokyo Narita to Manila, and I remembered there was a roughly 10 min spell of strong turbulence not too long after take off, when passing over the Honshu Alps. That was my worst encounter with air turubulence - memorable enough that I have never forgotten it.
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