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Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence  
User currently offlineEDKA From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 362 posts, RR: 1
Posted (9 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 13062 times:

Just heard on Capital Radio - a Virgin flight from Nassau suffered severe turbulence on its way to Gatwick today. Several passengers reported to have head and neck injuries and were sent for a treatment in hospital, apparently the crew did not have any time warn the passengers and put a seatbelt sign on.

Does anyone know any more details, as to where exactly this happened? I can't find any info on the web.

If this happened over Atlantic and there were injuries onboard how come it did not get diverted? Otherwise, its very unusual to have such severe turbulence anywhere around UK?

Thanks

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBritish767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 284 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 13003 times:

I haven't heard anything but I'm hardly suprised that there was severe turbulence whilst coming out of the Caribbean. When I went to the Caribbean in February we also had some quite severe turbulence, and I think the reason being is the warm air and the cold air clashing, creating a twister like effect.

User currently offlineBurberry753 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 204 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 12716 times:

On my way back from AUA (KLM MD-11) last year we had a pretty bad ride on the way out too.
cheers  Smile


User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 12669 times:

Diverting would depend on the track, where the incident occured and the severity of the incident.

It is unlikely that diversion would have been necessary unless a passenger's life was threatened and the only likely diversion points would be along the US/Canada seaboard, the Azores or Shannon. Given the average pax mix on the route, a diversion and hospitalisation outside of the UK would be inconvenient for the pax and the airline.

Decisions of this nature are not made in isolation but by the Captain in consultation with first aid trained crew, operations managers at HQ and company doctors.


User currently offlineWingman From Seychelles, joined May 1999, 2219 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 12563 times:

Will be interesting to see this happen on one of Virgin's 380s with the shopping malls. 200 neck injuries ought to keep the lawyer types busy for years.

User currently offlineRRFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 12526 times:

I agree with British767, this is not uncommon. I imagine that there was a pretty large drop involved, thus explaining the injuries. It is always routine I believe, to have the belt sign switched on, especially this time of year. I have found that due to the tropics being very active this time of year, I have normally had a moderate/rough ride on most days, with Virgin being this exception to the rule.
Sorry to hear this, keep buckled up, even when appears to be smooth seems to be the rule here. But like I said not surprsing.


User currently offlineLando From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 12481 times:

Ah, sucks to hear that. Hopefully it wont be too bad flying into the Carribbean, I am flying from Atlanta to Grand Cayman Thursday...

User currently offlineVS747SPUR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 373 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 12252 times:

Just a question about this, why is it just this VS plane that reported severe turbulance and not any others crossing the Atlantic ?

Many thanks,

VS747SPUR



Fly DL
User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 12224 times:

There are various types of turbulence. Some forms of Clear Air Turbulence (CAT) can be fast moving, live for very short periods and, whilst they may be forecastable in terms of a general area, are difficult to predict specifically or to see coming in flight.

Another factor in this case could be the track taken by the aircraft which may have been either lightly trafficked at the time or even a random track.

Unexpected CAT is the best reason for keeping your seatbelt fastened.


User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 12204 times:

Which aircraft type? I am assuming 340 ...

Cheers - J



"FUIMUS"
User currently offlineVS747SPUR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 373 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 12175 times:

Quoting VirginA340 (Reply 9):
Which aircraft type?

It is operated by a 747-400

Philb, from the evidence above it does sound like CAT. Many thanks for you info on this as I wasn't really aware of CAT and what it is.

Many thanks,
VS747SPUR



Fly DL
User currently offlineRRFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 12149 times:

The fact that supposedly the seat belt sign was not on, proves it was a classic case of CAT. Generally the flight deck crew will be monitoring the VSI at times where (as forecasted) CAT may occur. In this case it appears that Virgin was unlucky enough to stumble upon a pocket of dead air, that was not forecasted. I know many at Virgin and they are professional, dutiful crews. This was a mishap and there was nothing the crew could have done to have avoided this, I am convinced of that fact.
Whats important is that the aircraft made it safely back and it appears so far nothing is wrong with the aircraft. If this is the case it is due to crew procedures and practices being followed.


User currently offlineNeverest From France, joined Dec 2004, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 12120 times:

Is the effect of turbulance higher on a smaller aircraft as compared to a large type like 747 or 380? At least this has been my experience.

User currently offlineSelcalcheckok From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 12004 times:

no serious injuries

Tropical Cyclone Franklin is in the area as were a bunch of thunderstorms

ck


User currently offlineFlyer737sw From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 135 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 11658 times:

Severe turbulence is defined as not having any control of the aircraft...This case is probably more moderate turbulence...It is good practice to have your selt belt on even when the selt belt sign is off...Even a suttle drop can send you to the roof if your belt isnt on...Hopefully the passengers are ok...

Kev


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9511 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 11601 times:

Not to be too picky or technical, but I personally doubt it if was actually "severe turbulence". There are many definitions for turbulence, but severe turbulence is defined by "total inability to maintain control of the airplane including altitude and airspeed and can result in structural damage to the airframe". Severe turbulence is extremely uncommon, and can almost always be avoided. If it was severe turbulence, then there would have been a diversion. This was probably a case of unexpected moderate turbulence. It can be bad, and cause injuries, but a jetliner is built to take the stress and should not have trouble flying through it safely.

Here is a quick easy definition to different forms of turbulence that I have heard:

Light Chop : Ripples/waves in your glass of water
Moderate Chop/light turbulence : Splashing of the water in your glass
Moderate Turbulence : All the water has splashed out of the glass as it rolls around your tray table
Severe Turbulence : Glass has shattered when it hit the ceiling, and water is long gone



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineQantasHeavy From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 379 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 11521 times:

Sounds like convection to me, especially in that area. May have been CAT, but potentially cuased by straight-line winds/shear coming out of a thunder head. Deviating around storms and staying at least 20 nm away from the red cells on the down wind side may be the procedure, but cutting the margin close and "the non downwind" side of a storm quickly changing to storm track can happen easily.

You can also get clear air turbulence flying in blue sky above developing storm clouds. While you may be flying VFR in clear skies, it is the convective power below or beside you that can make it a hard day at the office.

Australian and UK carriers often times have a more reserved use of the seatbelt sign -- not saying the crews are any less professional or safe, it's just my observation.


User currently offlineBoeing744 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1831 posts, RR: 23
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 10649 times:

Does VS offer any type of compensation for injured pax (airline voucher, upgrade, etc.)? I experienced what RoseFlyer would consider "moderate turbulence" on an AC Jazz Dash 8-100, plus one very frightening drop (people hit their heads on the roof). This was on descent into YKA. I would think that a larger aircraft would have not been as heavily affected by this

User currently onlineBDABOY From Bermuda, joined Nov 2004, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 10190 times:

Back to back troughs of low pressure combined with tropical storm Franklin left some pretty wild weather around the sub-tropical mid atlantic including lots of hefty thunderstorms here in Bermuda. Wouldn't be surprised if that was the cause.

User currently offlineCrossChecked From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 255 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (9 years 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8896 times:

Forgive me, but even if the seatbelt sign HAD been on, I can guarantee that there would still be injuries. The travelling public have little or no respect for the Seatbelt sign these days, and people insist on mulling around the cabin even when it's switched on.

When will passengers ever learn?

I swear I'll die trying to explain to my passengers why it's so important that they fasten their seatbelts. They are old and ugly enough to make their own decisions about being injured, but if they fall on ME or another passenger, we have a whole different kettle of fish.



Cabin crew, doors to manual and cross check.
User currently offlineEDKA From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 362 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (9 years 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8741 times:

Quoting RRFan (Reply 11):
This was a mishap and there was nothing the crew could have done to have avoided this, I am convinced of that fact.
Whats important is that the aircraft made it safely back and it appears so far nothing is wrong with the aircraft.

Absolutely...

Quoting RRFan (Reply 5):
Just a question about this, why is it just this VS plane that reported severe turbulance and not any others crossing the Atlantic ?

Good question. Maybe VS was the only flight with injuries, something worth mentioning in the news?

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 15):
This was probably a case of unexpected moderate turbulence. It can be bad, and cause injuries, but a jetliner is built to take the stress and should not have trouble flying through it safely

It probably was, i was just quoting the radio station, the way they have reported it.


User currently offlineCrossChecked From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 255 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8694 times:

Quoting EDKA (Reply 20):


Quoting RRFan,reply=5:
Quoting RRFan (Reply 5):
Just a question about this, why is it just this VS plane that reported severe turbulance and not any others crossing the Atlantic ?

Good question. Maybe VS was the only flight with injuries, something worth mentioning in the news?

If Virgin had been the first aircraft to fly on that flight path that afternoon (very much possible), no other airline would have experienced the turbulence and Virgin would have notified other airliners and the ATC Centre it was in communication with about the weather.

Therefore, other airlines would have been able to avoid it.



Cabin crew, doors to manual and cross check.
User currently offlineBeany From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8679 times:

Quoting Philb (Reply 3):
Decisions of this nature are not made in isolation but by the Captain in consultation with first aid trained crew, operations managers at HQ and company doctors.

All cabin crew should be first aid trained.

Virgin and BA also both use MedAire Inc of Phoenix for inflight emergencies. Virgin captains can contact MedAire via Medlink on radio or satellite phone.
As well as providing advice on the management of the medical incident, the MedLink staff will assist the Captain in deciding whether to divert and, if so, which of the available diversion airfields has the most appropriate medical facilities.


User currently offlineCrossChecked From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 255 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (9 years 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8626 times:

Beany mate, all cabin crew ARE first air trained - even Virgin's inflight beauty therapists.

I've had to use MedAire, referred to as MedLink by crew, in the past and they are absolutely fantastic, though in a situation like this there is little they could do. It was obvious that the injuries sustained were neck injuries, it's just a case of assessing the severity and then deciding what to do from there.

MedLink are only particularly helpful if you're unsure of the cause of any illness or if there is a real need to divert the flight (if someone's life is endangered).

They are a fantastic service.



Cabin crew, doors to manual and cross check.
User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 24, posted (9 years 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8304 times:

Re the type of turbulence, this was more than likely CAT and not immediately storm derived.

Reason for the supposition?

It hasn't been stated where the turbulence occurred and it would seem very unlikely that a flight close to any tropical storm would be conducted by Virgin without the seat belt signs being illuminated.

Reason for that statement?

Experience on 26 transatlantic sectors with Virgin, many through the mid Atlantic and Caribbean regions and many in the cockpit. I've found Virgin crews to be very fastidious about passenger "comfort", i.e safety.

If the incident occurred in the area of the storm then Virgin's safety department will certainly be talking to the crew.


25 Justplanecrazy : its lucky the pilots werent injured,they dont seem to wear their seatbelts.
26 Flybyguy : Just about to point out the same thing. What many would consider "severe turbulence" would actually be light or moderate to most seasoned pilots. I h
27 Post contains images Apuneger : I wonder what happened to the people who were visiting the toilets when this occured Anyway, as already mentioned indeed, always keep your seatbelt on
28 Gmidy : Turbulence should be expected across the Atlantic this time of year especially when heading east.
29 Philb : Gmidy, Please advise how turbulence can be direction specific?
30 Selcalcheckok : flt reported severe turb...between fixes cobbl and mille which is at 25n75w, tc franklin is now at 33nand67w, but he was issued 2 sigmets later on dow
31 IrishMD11 : Hmmmm, when was the last time you managed to check that out? Gerry
32 Litz : I was on a DL flight from ATL to Cincinnati, when we had to "thread the needle" between thunderheads in order to land. Pilot gave plenty of warning,
33 Post contains images VSMike : Hopefully no one injured, but Virgin would benefit from a good shake-up anyhow...
34 747LUVR : Back in March, about 3 minutes after taking off from LGW on VS015 to MCO we dropped like a bucket and on the right side. The pilot(s) tileted us back
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