What’s causing mid-flight turbulence - WNCT

What’s causing mid-flight turbulence

Posted: Updated:
U.S. - Recently two flights have been hit by unexpected turbulence that resulted in injured crew and passengers.  The NTSB has announced it will investigate one of them; the flight headed for Billings, Montana where five people were injured. 

So, what causes turbulence?  Should you expect a bumpy ride on your next flight?  Turbulence is caused by air movement created by pressure from the atmosphere, jet streams, air around mountains or cold weather fronts or thunderstorms.

Aviation experts say while it may be heart-stopping, it actually feels worse than it is.  Your plane is built to withstand it.  Even in the strongest turbulence, the plane usually doesn't move more than 20 or 50 feet up or down.

Despite the recent high-profile reports injuries actually aren't all that common.  In 2011 for example, about 731 million people flew in U.S. airspace and there were only 33 turbulence-related injuries.

The people who are injured are usually flight attendants and people not buckled up.  Ignoring the ‘fasten seat belt’ sign mid-flight when you're cruising along smoothly is the worst thing you can do. Even minor turbulence can become dangerous without a seat belt.

  • U.S. & World NewsMore>>

  • Pellet gun firing causes Navy base lockdown

    Pellet gun firing causes Navy base lockdown

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:05 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:05:43 GMT
    Officials at the U.S. Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego are searching the base after an unconfirmed report of an armed individual there.
    A major Navy base ground to a halt for about two hours Thursday after a report of a man seen waving a weapon led to the detention of a sailor who fired a gun that shoots soft plastic pellets.
  • South Korea ferry disaster may cloud Obama visit

    South Korea ferry disaster may cloud Obama visit

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:05 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:05:25 GMT
    President Barack Obama is rejecting suggestions that an Asia-Pacific trade deal is in danger.
    When President Barack Obama arrives in South Korea on Friday, he will be thrust anew into the role of consoler in chief in a time of crisis, a responsibility he has become all too accustomed to in the United States.
  • Criminal probe into NYC heiress' life is over

    Criminal probe into NYC heiress' life is over

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:04 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:04:37 GMT
    During a yearslong court fight over an idiosyncratic copper heiress' $300 million estate, a criminal investigation quietly examined how she and her finances were being looked after, though no one was ever charged.
    During a yearslong court fight over an idiosyncratic copper heiress' $300 million estate, a criminal investigation quietly examined how she and her finances were being looked after, though no one was ever charged.
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.