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Buckle up. And keep it taut throughout the trip because disturbance, especially the more insidious ones that occur with clear skies, in English, clear air turbulence will be more and more frequent in flight. Climate change has something to do with it. The good news is that thanks to more advanced weather forecasts and more reliable aircraft than ever before, negative consequences will be minimized. However, the advice that leaders give is always within A flighti.e. keeping seat belts fastened even though it is not mandatory, must be followed.
Let’s start with the last event. A flight Lufthansa 469. The Airbus 330 takes off from Austin, Texas, on Wednesday. Destination Frankfurt. All is quiet, but suddenly an hour and a half later, at 37,000 feet above Tennessee, the plane shakes, loses altitude, and passengers not in their seats are thrown to the ground along with the flight attendants, as well as those without seat belts. Everything happens while the meals are served, so the carts move from one part of the cab to the other, and the food stays all over the aisle just like on the battlefield. A female passenger, Susan Zimmerman, told CNN: “First the plane suddenly jumped at altitude, and then we fell a thousand feet. It was a five-second free fall, and it was like a roller coaster, and the plates and glasses were all the way to the ceiling.”
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Fortunately, relatively little wind shear continues, as the Commander lands in Washington Dulles, Virginia. Seven wounded. Aviation authorities explain: It was an episode of the cat, a clear air turbulence. In 2017, 27 passengers on an Aeroflot Moscow-Bangkok flight were injured by an episode of CAT, in 2019, 33 passengers were treated on an Air Canada flight to Vancouver and Sydney, again due to clear air turbulence. Between 2009 and 2018, there were 111 incidents related to the disorder, according to the US government agency NTSB, roughly one per month. A report cited by ABCNEWS explains: Most seriously injured passengers were standing or had their seat belts not fastened. In total, according to the FAA, between 2009 and 2021, there were 146 injured due to turbulence.
Plane struck by lightning, seven injured and made an emergency landing in Washington. “Broken glass in the cabin, food everywhere.”
OK, but why is outdoor turmoil so insidious? Simply because it is so unpredictable, it occurs when the sky is clear or when there are few clouds. The reason is related, simplistically, to a temperature gradient, a change in temperature at altitude, which leads to the sudden formation of irregular jet streams. Thomas Jane, a professor of meteorology reported by ABCNews, explains: Turbulence in clear air often occurs in or near high-altitude air “rivers” called jet streams, and the ultimate cause is actually wind shear, two massive masses of air close to each other moving at different speeds. The plane climbs in one direction, descends in the other. According to Paul D. Williams, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences in England, cited by various US networks, climate change is altering temperature patterns in the upper atmosphere. At flight altitudes, the tropics warm faster than the poles, resulting in larger north-south temperature differences. This leads to wind shear. The hope is that over time turbulence avoidance techniques will improve, in the meantime it’s best to keep seat belts always fastened.
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