Should I be worried and how to behave during turbulence?

The US Federal Aviation Administration is currently investigating an incident that occurred on board an Airbus A330 last Sunday, December 18th. The aircraft, which has a wingspan of more than 60 meters, got into severe turbulence, which lasted for a long time. Dozens of passengers were injured, who, apparently, were not wearing seat belts at the time of the emergency.

Severe turbulence leading to injury is rare, but this event explains why flight attendants and pilots take it so seriously when they “out of the blue” ask passengers to fasten their seat belts during a flight. Bumps, falls, and jarring can lead to the most undesirable consequences.

So, how can you tell when the situation is normal and when there is potentially something to worry about? And what is “turbulence” anyway?

Is it worth worry and how to behave during turbulence?

There are two types of turbulence: clear air turbulence and convective turbulence.

Clear sky turbulencecaused by the sudden formation of cumulus clouds, jet streams and other invisible weather phenomena. At the same time, there are few clouds in the sky, and it is very difficult to detect it in advance, both visually and using radar.

Convective or thermal turbulence is created due to uneven heating of the earth's surface. This leads to the formation of vertical streams, “wielding” at all heights. This type of turbulence has a well-defined annual and daily seasonality.

Is it worth worry and how to behave during turbulence?

Convective turbulence can be much stronger and more prolonged than clear air turbulence. Most cases of severe air turbulence occur during storms or other adverse weather events. Wind currents are not smooth as usual, they rise and fall in waves. This leads to uneven pressure on the wing, which causes sudden jolts in the aircraft.

Pilots themselves, and flight attendants, believe that turbulence is not unusual. First, modern aircraft are designed to withstand severe turbulence for extended periods of time. Even from the porthole you can see how the wings are bent, as if “waving”. It's like earthquake-resistant buildings that sway to resist wind and other impacts.

Is it worth worry and how to behave during turbulence?

Pilots claim that the plane cannot be turned upside down, go into a tailspin or fall out of the sky even with the strongest gust of wind or air pocket . Inside, it is really very uncomfortable, but the plane will not crash.

Although turbulence is considered a common occurrence, the crew still tries to minimize it. Whenever possible.

First, pilots coordinate with airline meteorologists and air traffic controllers. Secondly, software and a special radar are used, which give a full picture where the turbulence zones are. The aircraft either flies around the most dangerous area, or changes altitude, where the effect of turbulence is minimal.

Is it worth worry and how to behave during turbulence?

To reassure passengers and ensure safety, pilots announce: “Our plane is in turbulence. Please clear the tables and fasten your seat belts” in front of any anticipated “bumps” in the sky.

In fact, pilots would have to make similar announcements every 15 to 20 minutes in anticipation of the turbulence zone, as well as during it. Thank God that they are professionals and are able to calculate the degree of real danger. However, it is very important that after the announcement, everyone remains in their seats with their seat belts fastened.

Should I be worried and how to behave during turbulence?

Even if the pilots don't make announcements, it's better to be seated. And if you see the flight attendant speeding up to put the food and drink cart back in place, that's a clear command to get back in your seat, raise the backrest, and fasten your seatbelt.

Here are a few tips , how to minimize the chance of encountering turbulence during flights:

– Choose early morning flights as early as possible, since the air is most stable in temperature at the beginning of the day. Balloons rise into the air mainly in the morning for exactly the same reason.

– Fly the biggest planes you can, then there will be less jolts in the flight.

– If you fly infrequently, plan your trips for autumn or spring, when you are more likely to avoid sharp vertical air currents.

< p>– If you are traveling in winter, if you have a choice, book flights with more southerly routes and connections to avoid ice and snow storms. For summer travel, by contrast, take more northerly routes to reduce the chance of encountering daytime thunderstorms.

Should I be worried and how to behave during turbulence?

In general, there is nothing unusual about turbulence during flight, and there is no need to panic about these jolts in the sky.

Take a deep breath and remember that your momentary sensations are absolutely normal. Most likely, temporary discomfort will pass before you have time to realize it.

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