Travel Tips

Travel Tip: Turbulence in the Air

There’s a study out there predicting that the airspace is about to get even more turbulent due to climate change. Is this something that we need to worry about?

The report, which came from the University of East Anglia, tested what would happen with increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The conclusion? More pollution will most likely mean more turbulence in trans-Atlantic aviation. Is that going to stop me from flying? Of course not.

The fact is, there have been six incidents with fatalities caused by turbulence since 1980. All were a direct effect of people not being buckled into their seats when the plane hit hazardous weather conditions.

The FAA mandates that all commercial aircraft be built to withstand far more stress than they would ever encounter during rough turbulence.

Truly “severe” turbulence situations are extraordinarily rare—most pilots never see it in their entire career. But they are trained to handle all types of conditions.

And when you feel that plane moving up and down, it’s seeking out the smoothest altitude…and the pilots have cues to alert them to any turbulence ahead well ahead of time.

For more information, visit the Airport & Airplane archives.

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