Man at His Best

Pilot Explains What Actually Causes Turbulence, And Whether It's Dangerous

Nervous flyers, listen up.

BY Dusty Baxter-Wright | May 31, 2017 | Travel

Frequent flyers will be more than familiar with turbulence: the annoying moment you have to hold on to your coffee, armrest and multiple bags of snacks all at once in a bid to stop you - and your things - spilling everywhere.

But what actually causes the uneasiness, and is it dangerous? As one pilot explained to Business Insider, turbulence is often down to "rough air", and no, it's usually nothing to worry about.

"Every flight, every day, will encounter some degree of rough air", Patrick Smith explains. "Be it a few light burbles or a more pronounced and consistent chop that sometimes gets your coffee spilling and the plates rattling in the galley.

"From a pilot's perspective, garden-variety turbulence is seen as a comfort and convenience issue, not a safety issue per se. It's annoying, but it is not dangerous."

The pilot added: "thinking back over the whole history of modern commercial aviation, I cannot recall a single jetliner crash caused by turbulence.

"Airplanes are engineered to withstand an extreme amount of stress, and the amount of turbulence required to, for instance, tear off a wing, is far beyond anything you'll ever experience."

From: Esquire UK


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