Is Airplane Turbulence Dangerous?

Is Airplane Turbulence Dangerous?

Photo credit: berkuspic via / CC BY-SA

Is Airplane Turbulence Dangerous?

Turbulence is simply a “rough patch” that is caused by thunderstorms, wind, proximity to mountains and many other factors. In most cases, pilots are aware of turbulent conditions ahead of them and can switch on the seatbelt as the airplane approaches it. No matter how extreme the turbulence is, it cannot cause the airplane to crash. Airplanes are designed to take an outstanding amount of punishment based on research. Pilots completely study the weather patterns to prevent turbulence. Additionally, they plan ahead and select the best route before each flight. Turbulence might be caused by many different things, but each one of them is understood and known by pilots. Many individuals don’t know what causes turbulence. Airplane turbulence is actually caused by significant changes in air currents.

Airplane Turbulence

Turbulences that are severe enough to damage a commercial plane is very rare. Airplane reaction to turbulence differs with aircraft altitude, wing loading, and wind speed. Here are different types of turbulence that an airplane can encounter during its normal flight path:

  • Clear air turbulence – this type of turbulence is hard to predict and it is common in high altitudes.
  • Wake turbulence – airplanes themselves can also lead to turbulence. The same way a ski boat creates waves and eddies in water, quickly spinning air currents can extend on the wing tips of an airplane. These vortices can actually cause a following aircraft to experience turbulence.
  • Thunderstorms – When it comes to flight, the most commonly asked question is why does turbulence occur? Well, thunderstorms create extreme turbulence that all pilots are taught to avoid. The good thing is that there are many warning programs for pilots. Airplane radar, pilot reports and ground radar will alert a pilot if there is going to be thunderstorms.

So is airplane turbulence dangerous?  Well, airplane turbulence is not dangerous but just uncomfortable. Airliners are now testing new advanced technology which can assist airplanes in avoiding turbulence, by utilizing ultraviolet lasers to deliver pulses into the air ahead. Kids are more susceptible to turbulence injuries. Be sure that they are properly tucked during these times.

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