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Worst Turbulence?  
User currently offlineAircanada From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 148 posts, RR: 0
Posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1871 times:

Hello all!

I was wondering what is the worst turbulence you've been through, where was it, what airline, etc., etc. Mine was leaving YYC (a few years back) going to YYZ. I don't know why they decided to take off, there were some BLACK clouds hovering over the airport. Most airlines delayed/cancelled there flights. We were shaking so much, I thought the seats were going to fly off. One of the F/A's started crying (not very re-assuring). There were lots of screams!!

Look foward to your reponses,

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBbinchi From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1682 times:

I have two incidents of "worst turbulence":

The first was on a TW Convair 880 flying from PIT to ORD in the winter of 1971 or maybe '72. We had departed in a snow storm and it got worse the closer we came to ORD. That 880 rolled so much that when the F/A's were trying to walk down the aisles to make their final safety checks they were thrown into people's laps. Not good...very scary.

The second occurrence was on a TW 707-131B flying CVG to CMH. We had departed CVG in a thunderstorm in late spring of 1975. What we encountered probably was severe wind shear but back then that phenomenon was not talked about (if it was even understood) much.

I recall sitting behind the wing and watching the control surfaces flailing wildly as the pilots struggled to maintain control. We were still on our climbout with menacing, dark thunderheads all around us. The inboard and outboard ailerons were deflecting up and down throughout their entire range of travel and the spoilers were assisting with roll control as best they could. I was really frightened!

Minutes later we dropped as if a giant had stepped on us from above. Back then there were no overhead bins...only coat/hat racks. EVERYTHING came flying out of those racks, people instantly started throwing up and I, although firmly strapped in, came up out of my seat enough that I hit my head hard on the passenger service unit above my seat. What a terrifying experience!

Other than those severe cases the next worse situation was constant, heavy turbulence for about three hours on a UA 777 across the Atlantic (ORD-LHR) two years ago.

User currently offlineTWA717_200 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1663 times:

For me it was about 15 minutes after departure from PHX to SJO. Usually, I enjoy watching the newbies around me getting sick when the plane starts to shake. But that one really got to me.

User currently offlineBoeing 777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1658 times:

The worst turbulence for me happaned on a Canadian Regional F28 from YYC to YVR. This was during the late afternoon on the Thanksgiving weekend in October (In case you forget, Thanksgiving comes a month earlier north of the border) last year. The turbulence started roughly by the time we got over Banff, and continued for almost an hour over the BC Rockies. The plane was rattling so much that no one could get up to use the washroom, nor could the FAs get up to serve the snacks and drinks. The captain apologized for the FAs not being able to do the serving. Fortunately, nobody lost their lunches! As if to make up for the rough ride, the last 15 minutes prior to landing in Vancouver was *unbelievably* smooth.

I also remember an earlier incident during a Time Air flight from YEG to YQU(Grande Prairie, AB). I was a boy no older than 8 or 9, and I was flying in a Shorts 330, the infamous flying boxcar and ancestor to the Shorts 360. The plane flew right into a thunderstorm about halfway through the flight, just after the FA had finished serving the drinks. The ride was so nasty that at one passenger had *all* of her Coke flying out of her glass, splattering the overhead lights and fan! Other passengers had their drinks flying out of their glasses as well. It was the closest I had ever been to a roller coaster ride at that time. Luckily, I had finished my drink and I never got sick.

User currently offlineCX flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6811 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1641 times:

The worst turbulence I have ever had was probably not on an airliner, but on a light aircraft. I was flying a TB10 Tobago in South Australia landing at Wakerie, which is situated on top of a small cliff, above a river, with the other river bank pretty much the same height as the river. The wind was from the north, 90 degrees to the cliff and was causing all sorts of turbulence at the strip on the cliff top. That was a job. Bounced all over the place. That was hard to control.

One of my friends came back from SFO yesterday and climbing through FL250 back to HKG they hit severe turbulence from a standing wave with no warning. The stall and overspeed clacker were going off together. The aircraft B-HXI A340 was withdrawn from service for a structural chack after landing in HKG. That must have been something.

User currently offlineGomez From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1613 times:

The worst turbulence I have ever experienced occured this past summer, sometine in August. We were flying en route from CIA (Rome) to YYZ (Toronto)
I was in the front of the aircraft when we started to feel a little swaying, nothing to worry about. However, soon after the swaying got increasingly worse. As a crewmwmber, I was not very concerned but it kept worsening until suddenly all of the wine bottles and dishes at the front went crashing to the floor. The aircraft was bumping ans swaying like crazy. By this time the captain came over the PA and told the cabin crew to be seated. We had to hold on as we struggled to get in our seats. As I was sitting in my jumpseat, I looked down the cabin to the aft, I could not believe what I saw! the aft seemed to fishtail, it was like the fuselage was actually moving back and forth, (it was). Suddenly, we dipped to the right for a few seconds (it seemed longer) I thought we were going to flip over. I was sitting harnessed in my jumpseat smiling at the terrified passengers who were screaming and looking at me for reassurance. The turbulence lasted for approx 20 mins. At one point we thought it was over, but it started up again. We called the crew in the aft to see if they were O.K. Three of the f/a's had spilled their cookies, however, they were harnessed in their jumpseats. After it subsided the flight attendants donned oxygen bottles and administered it to a great number of elderly passengers who were feeling faint by the scare. Not to mention we walked through the cabing with huge plastic bags to collect soiled blankets from the good majority of passengers who were sick. It turned out that we were flying through a jetstream. The captain later told us that he had never had turbulence that bad in his 25 years of flying.

User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Reply 6, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1616 times:

April of last year. Flying from LAS-LAX on an America West A320. Right after takeoff, the plane was bumping and shaking like a roller coaster. Add to that it was night, and overcast. I couldn't see the ground because of the dark and clouds, so there was no way I could gauge our altitude. I was freaking out not only because of the shaking, but also because we had just taken off and couldn't have been very high.

User currently offlineHpa318 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1595 times:

I love to fly and hope to become a f/a very soon, although turbulence has scared me away from it for a while. Every time I fly it seems to get worse and worse no matter where i go. Last summer Aug. 31 to be exact I was onboardVirgin Atlantic flt 25 LHR-JFK A340-300I was so excited, my first time an A340.I was not ready for what was to come. Takeoff from LHR was fast and smooth, after about 15 minutes we had bumps here and there, they got worse and worse until like 3-4 hours in flight over the atlantic, that plane was out of controlI work for an airline and fly a lot, so when I heard the captain over the PA tell the crew to be seated, I knew we were in for it. I buckled in, my friend was sound asleep, i woke her up in order to buckle up. I was so scared, they evenstopped the inflight movies, all was dark and quiet, everyone was mostly asleep when they were awoken by the biggest bump ever. People flew out of their seats, I heard people crying, prayingit was horrible, my heart was in my mouth. I just looked out and saw those engines shake.It kept on for over an hour, it stopped for 15 minutes, then again started until about 20-30 minutes away from JFK. When we finally landedI noticed it was extremely hard. So hard that the main landing-gear caught on fire, while taxing to the gate there was smoke coming out of the lavs and galleys. What a flight!!!!Before we landed the Captain apologized, and said that we encountered hurricane Cindy over the atlantic, we couldnt climb bcause we were too heavy or descend because it was worse. I was never so happy to be on the ground.....

User currently offlineLouis From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1590 times:

An AC A319 from LGA-YYZ on Jan 4th, 2000. After a fantastic trip, I was met by possibly one of the bumpiest flights I've ever been on. The turbulance was so bad that the seatbelt sign was on for the duration of the 1hr and 25 min flight. It's like the plane was on a certain altitude and then all of a sudden we just fall...

Take-off was amazing though. New York City is the best place to take off and land from and into, respectively. I took lots of pics, some of LGA from the air, Queens, Brooklyn and the Manhatten skyline as we took off (we immediately turned to the right after take-off from runway 13, so that's how I could see Manhatten since the runway faces the opposite direction). I'll post them on this site when (or if I get off my lazy ass) them developed. JFK and EWR are also really cool to take off and land from.

User currently offlineBizclass From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 1579 times:

I have had a couple of bad experiences in the past year. I fly a lot but like Hpa318, the turbulence seem to be getting worse especially in the past year. The first one was on flight in August from YLW to YYC on a Dash 8-300. It was a beautiful sunny day and it was pretty smooth for the first half of the flight. Then the captain came on the intercom and instructed everyone to be seated and strapped in as we were about to get bumpy for about 5 minutes just as we were leaving the rockie mountains. This was hard to believe because it was so clear and sunny. But sure enough, about 2 minutes later this Dash 8 felt like a wave rolled from above us and pushed us down toward the earth. I'm not sure how far we fell but it lasted for about 2 seconds which feels like minutes when it is happening. We got thrown around for about 5 minutes like I have never seen. Like the previous stories, people were crying and screams erupted everytime we went up or down severly. It honestly felt like we were out of control at a few points. Very rough.

The second one was flying from YEG to YVR on a 737. The whole flight was pretty bumpy. Not too severe but bumpy all the way along. When it was time to start out descent the captain came on the intercom again. He began by saying that Vancouver was experiencing high winds and heavy rain and that it will be rough. He said our alternate airport was Calgary if we couldn't get down for a landing. He said they would begin the descent and land from the west over the Pacific Ocean. Traditionally that is pretty bumpy at the best of times. He also mentioned that he would begin going down and if it got too bumpy or uncomfortable that he would pull out and head for Calgary. So, at least he prepared us all for the worst and it was extremely bumpy but we made the landing. It was the scariest landing ever but we made it. The plane was being blown around like a leaf! First there were heavy head winds and then tail winds, then the wings would dip and go back up. It was amazing that the pilot could keep that plane on line in those conditions!

User currently offlineFigo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1577 times:

it was in a B767 from Palma de Mallorca (Spain) to Amsterdam Schiphol and we had thunderstorms and heavy wind storms etc.


greetings from Holland.

User currently offlineMatt. From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1573 times:

Mine was back in 1984, from Bangkok to Dhahran with an Air France B-747-200c. After taking off from Bkg the flight was smooth until after about 20 minutes.. Suddenly the nose just rises pointing at least 45deg upward. At this point I looked out the window straight back and saw the intakes of the no 1 and 2 engines. And this is what is a bit strange.. The engines were swaying not to the same side, but towards each other like wanting to come together. I´ve never known a 747 wing would be that flexible as well, as the wing section beyond no 1 was pointing also 45deg. The turbulence went on for about 10 min, shaking us everywhere. The FA´s tried to look comforting, but one could tell they were surely affected of the incident. After about 30min, the French captain came down walking through the cabin, not saying anything but with sort of ensuring face, everything was allright.

User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4370 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1562 times:

That was the worst flight I have ever been in. A turboprop, from Miami to Orlando for a weekend with my girlfriend, & there were typical summer thunderstorms over Florida...lightning & rain, & the plane was shaking like Clinton's on a good evening...

...after that experience, "Space Mountain" looked more like "It's a small world"...aferall... 

Love & be happy,

My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently offlineNaimas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1550 times:

Reading this post only proves to me that the smaller the jet the more likely the turbulence. I know in the past people have said that size doesn't matter at all and that planes will feel the same amount of turbulence but I see a clear sign that those on Dc9'S AND MD80's have complained of turbulence more than those on wide bodies. Granted when you fly across the Atlantic there are jetstreams that would rock the moon if it tried to fly across but I am convinced that those who are looking for a smoother ride should steer clear of small planes on long flights.

I have seen DC9's bounce on chop that DC10's pass right through.

User currently offlineBizclass From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (16 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1558 times:

Derico, you jog my memory. Last March I was on a Dash8 from Orlando to Miami and that was similar conditions. Cloudy, windy, rainy. We had 10 people on that plane from another airline travelling as passengers they didn't seem to mind it too much. The F/A tried to serve drinks 3 times and finally made it on the third try. Thankfully myself and my 5 friends had been drinking most of the afternoon, that kind of dulled the experience. Very scary!

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