flyenthu From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 379 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 14361 times:
Great to see smiling pax on landing. I can't imagine how scary it might have been. Seems like super intense clear air turbulence to have that kind of an impact on a mammoth plane like the A380. It is also a testament to how strong airframes are actually.
23booker From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2013, 7 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11368 times:
This is my first post to airliners.net, so I hope this provides a little insight.
I have been a fan of this site for many years, but decided today was the day to make the leap and become a member.
As a passenger on SQ308 last Sunday seats 38C and 39B. My wife and I witnessed first hand what was a interesting experience!
In photo number two of the CNN report, we are sat two rows in front of the chap in the white t-shirt.
On photo number 8, it is actually my wife an I laughing as we were handed a box of chocolates (me in the white t-shirt, my wife just in front of me in the black top).
To give you a first hand account of what happened.....a little different to the media version, everything was progressing normally with the flight from Singapore, and we had been warned of possible turbulence a couple of hours after departure.
Breakfast had just been served (a choice of noodles or scrambled eggs with chicken sausage), both of which we declined the offer of, when the pilot asked the cabin crew to take their seats, but not abruptly as reported.
As passengers, we had already been restricted by the seat belt sign for approximately ten minutes.
A couple of minutes after the crew sat down, the aircraft veered upwards slightly before plummeting straight down for a couple of seconds.
Every meal tray smashed into the ceiling, showering all passengers in food, broken glass and cutlery (of which SIA still use metal as opposed to cheap unusable plastic utensils). Thankfully we had opted out of the food service, as did the passenger in 38A, so we escaped being covered in cornflakes, eggs and noodles. I was hit by a half eaten bread roll and a smidgen of yogurt, whilst my wife took a chicken sausage to the foot and some scrambled eggs filled her shoes (which somehow ended up in the aisle), all of which confirmed why we decided not to eat!!
The aircraft was a complete mess, people were screaming, crying and generally panicking. A couple of people stood up in our section of the cabin, which I suppose is a natural shock reaction, but a few of us shouted at them to sit back down.
A chap two rows in front of us had some kind of travel bag around his neck which ended up a row behind us in the aisle. I remember him having it as he had earlier walked past with a spoon poking from the top of it. This signals how sudden and violent the drop was.
Within two minutes of the incident, the cabin crew came through the cabin checking everyone was ok, there were several announcements for them to exercise caution whilst doing so, and they were just brilliant.
Then the monumental clean up operation took place. The crew spent an hour or so wiping every surface down, logging any injuries and reassuring everyone that it will be ok.
The flight continued back to blighty in the usual manner, no further problems to report, and the captain said they had, and were constantly reassessing the situation.
He explained that we were routing round some large storm clouds in the region, some were about 70-100 metres from us, and we hit CAT, no warning and nothing he could do to avoid or know it would happen.
Upon arrival, we all had to wait for the paramedics to assess every injured passenger (most complaining of neck pain!!) and then we were handed the box of chocolates as in picture 8 at the end of the air bridge.
Personally, I fly the LHR-SYD route 5 or 6 times a year (and take over 100 flights (mostly long haul) in general due to work). The Bay of Bengal is always choppy, but this was rather extreme, and I simply cannot stress enough how brilliant the SIA crew were once it had happened. Their cool calm attitude managed to ease the situation (although I fear it will be a struggle getting my wife on another plane), and the way handled things and cleaned the plane was above and beyond the call of duty.
Hats off to you SIA!!
FLYENTHU..... Thanks for the comment about everyone smiling. As my wife was handed the chocolates I commented: "here have some chocolates, please don't sue us" at which point everyone burst out laughing. Nothing brings 350 people together like a near death experience!
Btw, my two take home comments from all of this, Alan Cross who took the photos, I took one of the coffee on the ceiling and he said "yeah that was mine, I am wearing the other half", and after been given the chocolates, a female passenger said to my wife "I can't wait to get home and wash the cornflakes out of my hair". Somehow it made the whole thing seem 'a matter of fact'.
sankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10521 times:
Quoting 23booker (Reply 14): Their cool calm attitude managed to ease the situation (although I fear it will be a struggle getting my wife on another plane), and the way handled things and cleaned the plane was above and beyond the call of duty.
Well done, SQ crew! Proving yet again that safety and service are not mutually exclusive!
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21496 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9862 times:
Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 4): How strong must the turbulence be to really move an A380? I would imagine very.
No, not necessarily stronger than for a smaller airplane, since it's got proportionally larger wings, so turbulence has comparatively more area to act on as well. Larger masses of air are interacting with larger masses of airplane so the total amount of energy exchanged is higher, but for each passenger there isn't necessarily much of a difference.
It's primarily a matter of the acceleration, not amplitude. A 100m drop is no issue on approach because the acceleration is low and steady enough. And even just a 20cm pothole in the road can be really nasty if you're hitting it in a car with a stiff suspension.
Quoting 23booker (Reply 14): As a passenger on SQ308 last Sunday seats 38C and 39B. My wife and I witnessed first hand what was a interesting experience!
Interesting account. I'm glad nobody got hurt too seriously.
TheAviator380 From UK - England, joined Feb 2013, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9436 times:
Surprisingly no one mentioned which region and alt. there were at when they hit this nasty turbulence? Has any one got any info of this? Also next day SQ 308 was cancelled, any one know reason for that? I was first to start a thread on this I guess but never got published properly because of site IT issues.
falkerker From Seychelles, joined Apr 2012, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7464 times:
KUDOS to the SIA crew and the passengers!
Many criticize SIA crews for being robotic but when time comes for safety and reassurance they are evidently top notch! It doesnt cease to amaze me that even after such an event, passengers were smiling and to hear such an account from 23 booker and seem he is really pleased with SIA and its crew is amazing!
I guess that same turbulence in a smaller aircraft would have had a proportional effect, but being in such a behemoth must have made it much more frightening.
We had about 10hrs and 15 mins still to run. The decision was taken after assessing the situation that the plane was fine, and the injuries only very slight. Most complained of neck pain, which had amazingly cleared up by the time we landed and the paramedics were doing their checks!
The chap in 37G didn't. An old fellow already using a walking stick, and with limited mobility. The lady next to me commented that she saw him levitate out of his chair. He hurt his ankle and tore his trousers on the base of the seat in front of him. Apparently his was the worst injury, but he was still able to move around the plane later, and was smiling/chatting with the SIA crew.
We were at cruise level (34-35,000ft) approximately 2 hours out of SIN somewhere in the region of the
Adaman and Nicobar Islands, over the Bay of Bengal. No idea why the SQ308 was cancelled the next day, I know 9V-SKH was delayed by 28hrs leaving LHR for the return leg (if you saw the food stains covering the entire cabin I am not surprised). Also, correct me if I am wrong, but I think they have to do a complete check over of the aircraft when this happens?? I spoke with the guys in the SIA lounge when I flew out this Monday to YVR (always favour the SIA lounge over the London Lounge to get my last meal before being insulted for ten hrs with what AC refer to as food, benefits of the SIA Gold Card), and they said all the passengers had been found seats on BA, QF and EK, so minimised the disruption to others.
Thanks for the reply.
You know the funny thing, nobody remembers exactly how bad the turbulence was, EVERYBODY, including my wife who hates flying at the best of times, remembers how brilliantly SIA dealt with the situation.
Like I mentioned, I fly to Australia about 5/6 times a year, usually use a mix of SQ and QF ( to keep both the gold cards going), from now on, there is only one choice for me for that route, SIA!!
: That is exactly what has me completely astonished! Usually people would be panicking and in therapy for a couple of months! You have decided to give
: Quoting 23Booker "He explained that we were routing round some large storm clouds in the region, some were about 70-100 metres from us, and we hit CAT
: Excellent 23Booker. Thanks for sharing this experience, must be thrilling. Bay of Bengal is absolutely crazy and very well known for nasty weather an
: It's probably just the way my crazy mind works! Ha ha ha Thanks for the question. It's an interesting point about the pilots, no they didn't. I thoug
: Cheers ! Yes pilots must have been busy with checking all system working properly or not fair enough. Hope your next flight will be without any hiccu
: It is actually a very common reaction. No-one like when things go wrong but we all (almost) know it will happen from time to time. What sets companie
: Well done SQ, some CATs hit out of the blue, lucky for them they knew about it and were prepared. Imagine if an EK A380 hits a sudden CAT with a coupl
: Sounds like the cabin crew did a great job. But did the pilots? This is the part that bothers me. If the pilots were deviating around CBs, the turbule
: Perhaps the pilot was misheard or mis-spoke, and what he really meant was 70-100 KM? That seems much more logical and plausible.