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Worst Turbulence You've Ever Expierienced  
User currently offlineLJ45 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 66 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 5586 times:

What was the worst turbulence you have ever expierienced. A bumpy flight i can descibe is PLS-JFK on an AA 757. I also had one brief event on a VS A340 on LHR-JFK where there was a moment not too long after departure from LHR, we were climbing out when we encountered quite a wave that shook the whole cabin.

Have you ever had a bad expierience with turbulence before?

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineThom@s From Norway, joined Oct 2000, 11963 posts, RR: 41
Reply 1, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 5570 times:

Coming down to land at Stord Airport a few years back in a Coast Air J-31. So bumpy the seats nearly came off. But there was a good mood in the cabin, so no problem.  Smile


"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
User currently offlineSpringbok747 From Australia, joined Nov 2004, 4387 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5558 times:

SA A342 when flying JNB-PER in July this year (reg. no ZS-SLE). We were at FL380 and in the middle of nowhere, when suddenly the whole aircraft shook violently and just dropped out of the sky! I literally froze and thought that's it, we're gonna crash now.

We descended to FL320, then the captain told us not to worry, we had hit an air pocket.... That was bloody scary! After that, we climbed back to 38,000 feet and continued without any further incidence.

אני תומך בישראל
User currently offlineMADtoCAE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5567 times:

Like 2 years ago,DL ATL-MAD or MAD-ATL.
Right after they served the drinks a sudden wave of turbulence made my glass of coke spilled all over me.
After that I just sweared for 2 hours  Smile

User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 27
Reply 4, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5554 times:

When I was about 7, my family and I were flying EWR to MIA on AA. About halfway through, we hit some pretty severe turbulence, and you could see some people were visibly disturbed and scared. In my little kid's mind, I though it was a good thing to scream, "We're going down." A lot of people turned pale, and I remember at least one person vomiting. We laugh about it now, but it was pretty serious then and I still feel sorry for the people I threw into a panic.

Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineFlyboy1980 From New Zealand, joined Nov 2003, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5526 times:

Had an ATR-72 full of Japanese tourists screaming on approach to Queenstown airport once. Was hilarious!

After we arrived, the pilots were waiting on the tarmac for us cabin crew and some of the pax accosted the pilots and told them that it was very unsafe and they should know better!!

2 of my work mates were in the cabin and then they hit some very bad turbulence...both of them hit the ceiling and were then thrown onto the floor. One was pregnant too, which was even more scary for her. All were fine, baby included.

User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7232 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5495 times:

Flyboy-Don't they realise that pilots cannot control turbulence  Big grin

My worst experience was in a 733 from AKL-WLG. We were landing at WLG.

User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12976 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5494 times:

HLZ-WLG in a Saab340 in 2000. We started to hit turbulance basically just as we were flying over my suburb, so that was a nice welcome home. It got worse and worse till coming in on finals over Cook Strait when the saab was really getting throwen around. Passengers were screaming, mostly the female passengers. Babys were screaming their heads off..........but..........there was me enjoying every second of the approach Smile. While everyone was disembarking, the pilots came out of the cockpit so i said "thank you for the awesome landing", with a big smile on my face, I got some very weird looks from the other passengers after that Smile

User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2561 posts, RR: 48
Reply 8, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5460 times:

last summer, A340 Turkish airlines from EDDF-LTBA.... lost a lot of feet, trays in the air, and hot tea from the guy in front, all over my shoulders and arms...cart tipped over in the empty area near the mid section. There were 40 people on board, about 10-15 young girls in the back were crying, they thought we were going down...

The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineFlyboy1980 From New Zealand, joined Nov 2003, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5450 times:

ZKSUJ - you've probably seen how close the mountains are to ZQN airport...I guess to the untrained eye it can seem TOO close  Smile

The pilots were rather upset by what the pax said - they thought they had done pretty well considering the wind.

Pax don't seem to realise that insulting a pilot's approach and landing is the same as insulting anyone's job.

User currently offlineFlyingColours From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2355 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 5441 times:

A lot of pax insist there is a button in the cockpit (or flightdeck..... it's the same thing as I keep explaining to a number of people) which says "Turbulence" and they press it for kicks so that the passengers get scared.

I mean come on.... and when it's a jet it's called Chop not turbulence (props) but that goes over the common persons head too.

Mine would be MAN-LCA, My Travel 757-200 (might have been G-CCMY or G-PIDS) about 3 years ago now. It was only light stuff but when you are a passenger you feel it more, it lasted for over an hour and half, the crew got told to sit down twice. The second time was when it got a tad rougher, there was a large T-Storm out of my window (A/C left) which spanned a long distance. Ironically it was that experiance in there that made me want to become cabin crew, speaking of which I now have an interview with U2 on Friday!  Smile


Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
User currently offlineRCS763av From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4444 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5422 times:

When little, we were in an Avensa flight from CCS to BOG on an old and raggy 727, and the city was covered in Clouds. By that time, ElDorado had really awful flight help, so we had to circle for like 20 minutes with heavy turbulence. Everyone was screaming and suddenly the pilot started descent really fast withoput saying anything, some started crying b/c they thought we were falling, but then we touched down really hard. No one moved until the plane stopped completely at the gate. It was very scary.

User currently offlineBicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5421 times:

If you do a search, you'll find that this topic comes up very frequently. You'll read many good stories.

User currently offlineCOAMiG29 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 515 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5408 times:

on an AA flight from ind to dfw it got really rough. to give you an idea, the food cart got more air than some short haul jets. Smile


If Continental had a hub at DFW with nonstop flights I would always fly them, unfortunantely good things take time.
User currently offlineVtdl From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5403 times:

This was many years ago flying from HKG to SFO on SQ. While serving dinner, food and hot coffee started flying. I still didn't think the turbulence was that bad, but the flight attendants' reaction was less than reassuring. At first, they looked a little puzzled and unsure what to do. Food carts were all over the place so getting back to their seats were not an option. Then a lead flight attendant yelled to get everyone on the floor. One of them was right next to me holding on to the foot of my seat. She looked a little scare and I tried to hold on to her in case she flew away. Luckily, nothing else happened after that.

User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7232 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5402 times:

"Pax don't seem to realise that insulting a pilot's approach and landing is the same as insulting anyone's job."
I agree, especially in places like ZQN or WLG wher the weather is not the friendliest. A pilot is a person who can take responsibility for so many lives and the safety of others. Thant in my opinion does not deserve questioning and insult over how to do their job.

We hit turbulence into PMR on an ATR725 a couple of weeks ago, awsome experience. Every one was screaming and there I was looking out the window with a big huge grin on my face Big grin

User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9320 posts, RR: 69
Reply 16, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5398 times:

Hi everybody,

I just had once a REAL bad turbulence for about one minute! The captain and I was sitting and flying through a smooth air within clouds at FL370! I turned on the weather radar and there were a HUGE red echo in front of us, about 2 miles! We looked outside, but it didnt look like a thunderstorm! The captain announced via PA that Everybody sit down (including the F/A's) and about 30 seconds later it hit us! The autopilot disengaged and I flew it manually throught the thunderstorm... We had 45° of bank in less than a second, lost 600' of altitude.... It took roughly a minute until it was all smooth again and we werent in the clouds anymore! Autopilot re- engage and then an uneventfull flight!
During this turbulence I could hardly read the instruments... it was shaking like hell.... and it was really scary, especially for the passangers...


User currently offlineSLC1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5391 times:

A UA flight from on descent into LAX from SLC to a debate tournament at USC 4 years ago. I'd flown a lot, but OMG that was quite the experience! There were several moments where the entire (probably 50% full) cabin were screaming at the top of our lungs. At points it felt like (although I am clearly aware that we weren't) we were in freefall - with quick vert drops.

Fun for me, scary for most of the others.

User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5379 times:

My personal worst experience was onboard an American Airlines 777 from RDU to LGW just after Thanksgiving 2003. Probably luckily for me, it was the first time in all my years of flying that the F/A's were asked to suspend cabin service and take their seats, which even seemed to take them by surprise. We were bouncing around all over the sky for what seemed like three quarters of the entire flight. Initially I found it to be a scary situation to be in, but then the effects of the vodkas and wine I had drunk in the early part of the flight kicked in and I actually found that the movement of the aircraft sent me right off to sleep! I did wake up every now and again to find that we were still being tossed around like a cork on the sea, but then I went out like a light again. I have to say though that I was glad to be on the ground after that experience!!

Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2222 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5365 times:

*sigh* I was asleep through most of it!


Flew straight through the thunderstorm over Indian ocean.
Worst I've ever experienced whilst AWAKE was taking off from JNB, you could see lightning all around us, and we weren't getting any height, the a/c was shaking like mad, I just grabbed onto the seats, when I hit turbulence like that now, I wish I'm in the cockpit!

Phil, you have it lucky!! Big grin


User currently offlineJM017 From Jamaica, joined Jun 2002, 1232 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5358 times:

Maybe four years ago, on a WN flight BWI-ISP. We flew right through a Nor'easter, a very strong one at that. We wew batted around for the entire trip and dropped more times than I can count. Finally after three attempts to land at ISP, we were finally rerouted to Providence. The only saving grace was that this was a relatively short trip.

That was probably the worst, though a JM flight between MBJ and KIN in 1994 came pretty close. We experienced a lot of turbulence (or chop) because of instability over the island. The aircraft dropped twice, scaring novice travellers. Frequent travellers to the island expect these things, especially between MBJ and KIN.

"It's okay to cheat, if you just really don't like to lose."
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 66
Reply 21, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5351 times:

Longest-lasting was over southern Honduras and northern Nicaragua in a Helio Courier. I spent over an hour flying with one hand and hanging on to the cabane strut with the other. Spent a lot of that time thinking morbidly about the integrity of the engine mount attachments and the wing mounts.

Worst short burst of it was descending into DEN Stapleton late one night in an empty DC-9. At about twenty thousand just northeast of Boulder we got into something so bad that we punched off the autopilot and both got on the controls and just tried to keep it level. We pulled the power off and tried to slow but we could not read the airspeed indicator and certainly did not want to stall anymore than we wanted the overspeed. It lasted a minute or two and was the only time in a forty year career when I ever reported "severe" turbulence.

We thought that the panel was shaking too hard for us to read it. Later someone explained that the G-forces actually deform your eyeballs, unfocusing them in rhythm with the turbulence. Rather unpleasant.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineFlymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7606 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5333 times:

I never really had horrible turbulance. Just bad weather on JFK-MIA A300 once. FA's had to sit but Turbulance was not to bad.

Turbulance must be better in the cockpit since most of the time you know what is going on and everything. So you are at more ease than the pax. So for all you commercial pilots. Remember the passengers they like it when there pilot tells them the everything is fine.  Smile

Yea turbulance can be very scary to some one thats does not fly much or does not know much about aviation or ever expreianced turbulance. But for us aviation freaks and pilots we know that the chances or turbulance taking down the plane is almost 0%. Turbulance is really an big inconvience most of the time. And when flying into a bumpy airport how you know what the approach is going to be like it always adds a little bit more fun

"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineIslipWN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5328 times:

JM017... When did you take this BWI-ISP flight? Thats exactly what I was going to say, but after we landed in PVD, it was finally decided that we were going to finally land at ISP. But when we were coming in, we pulled back up, and went back to BWI. All of the passengers took a flight the next morning.

Also, this past ISP-BWI flight. There was a pretty bad rain storm. Right after we took off, the plane was shaking vilently. There was one HUGE drop when my feet lifted off the ground, and a few people made some noises. The wings looked like they were going to snap off.


User currently offlineCatatonic From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1155 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5285 times:

I fly regularly and turbulence still scares the hell out of me! My worst turbulence experience was on Ryanair MAN-DUB, got very rough over the Irish sea and when we were coming into land it just seemed to get worse!

Equally Cursed and Blessed.
25 JM017 : IslipWN, I took the WN flight Easter weekend 2001 (on Good Friday). We did not return to BWI. When we left PVD, we landed successfully at ISP, though
26 Checo77 : On a KLM flight from AMS to Aruba, Netherland Antilles on an MD-11 few years ago. A very smooth flight until from nowhere we hit an air pocket and we
27 OpsGuy : I was flying CO MD-80 ATL-HOU a few years back. While we were getting ready to depart you could see the skies getting darker and darker. One of the st
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