Singapore Airlines tragedy: What's in-flight turbulence? Top 10 most turbulent routes | World News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Singapore Airlines tragedy: What's in-flight turbulence? Top 10 most turbulent routes

May 22, 2024 02:50 PM IST

Singapore Airlines flight horror: The flight descended 1,800 metres in severe turbulence. 73-year-old British man died.

A Singapore Airlines flight experienced severe turbulence over the Indian Ocean on Tuesday, causing it to descend 1,800 meters in three minutes, the airline said. A 73-year-old British man died as the Boeing 777 shook severely.

The interior of Singapore Airline flight SQ321 is pictured after an emergency landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, May 21.(REUTERS)
The interior of Singapore Airline flight SQ321 is pictured after an emergency landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, May 21.(REUTERS)

ALSO READ- Who was Geoff Kitchen? Singapore Airlines passenger who died in turbulence horror: 5 points

What is in-flight turbulence?

Turbulence is unstable air that moves unpredictably. While often associated with storms, the most dangerous type is clear-air turbulence, which occurs without visible warning.

Due to wind shear, clear-air turbulence typically happens near high-altitude jet streams, where two large air masses move at different speeds. If the speed difference is significant, the atmosphere breaks into turbulent patterns, similar to eddies in water. Thomas Guinn, chair of the applied aviation sciences department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, explained that strong wind shear near the jet stream causes chaotic air motions.

ALSO READ- Singapore Airlines flight horror: 3 Indians among passengers hit by turbulence

How common are turbulence-related injuries?

In the United States, more than one-third of airline incidents from 2009 to 2018 were due to turbulence, resulting in serious injuries but typically no plane damage, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

From 2009 to 2022, 163 people were seriously injured during turbulence events, requiring hospital treatment for at least two days. Most of these injuries involved flight attendants, who are more vulnerable because they are often out of their seats during flights.

“It's not uncommon to have turbulence encounters that cause minor injuries up to, say, a broken bone,” said Larry Cornman, a project scientist at the National Science Foundation's National Centre for Atmospheric Research. “But fatalities are very, very rare — especially for large transport aircraft.”

ALSO READ- Singapore Airlines crew were 'stoic, did everything they could': Passenger on turbulence nightmare at 37,000 feet

Top 10 routes that encounter most turbulence

According to Turbli website which has produced its rankings by analysing 1,50,000 routes using data from UK and US government meteorological agencies, the routes with the highest average turbulence:

1. Santiago - Santa Cruz

2. Almaty - Bishkek

3. Lanzhou - Chengdu

4. Centrair - Sendai

5. Milan - Geneva

6. Lanzhou - Xianyang

7. Osaka - Sendai

8. Xianyang - Chengdu

9. Xianyang - Chongqing

10. Milan - Zurich

(Inputs also from PTI)

Get World Cup ready with Crickit! From live scores to match stats, catch all the action here. Explore now!

See more

Get Current Updates on World News, US News , Hollywood News , Anime and Top Headlines from around the world.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On