edka
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:15 pm

Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:19 am

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
 
British767
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:17 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:26 am

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.
 
burberry753
Posts: 198
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:41 am

On my way back from AUA (KLM MD-11) last year we had a pretty bad ride on the way out too.
cheers  Smile
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:51 am

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.
 
wingman
Posts: 2795
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:25 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:12 am

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.
 
RRFan
Posts: 73
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:19 am

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.
 
Lando
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:29 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:24 am

Ah, sucks to hear that. Hopefully it wont be too bad flying into the Carribbean, I am flying from Atlanta to Grand Cayman Thursday...
 
VS747SPUR
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:35 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:29 am

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
 
philb
Posts: 2645
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:37 am

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.
 
VirginA340
Posts: 2556
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:40 am

Which aircraft type? I am assuming 340 ...

Cheers - J
"FUIMUS"
 
VS747SPUR
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:35 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:47 am

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
 
RRFan
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:03 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:52 am

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.
 
Neverest
Posts: 39
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:00 am

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.
 
selcalcheckok
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:37 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:52 am

no serious injuries

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

ck
 
flyer737sw
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:29 am

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
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:35 am

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!
 
QantasHeavy
Posts: 277
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:41 am

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.
 
Boeing744
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 11:23 am

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
 
BDABOY
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:19 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:26 pm

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.
 
CrossChecked
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:06 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:33 pm

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.
 
edka
Posts: 371
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:15 pm

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:52 pm

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.
 
CrossChecked
Posts: 184
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:57 pm

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.
 
Beany
Posts: 170
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:58 pm

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.
 
CrossChecked
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:06 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:05 pm

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.
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:50 pm

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.
 
justplanecrazy
Posts: 528
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 11:26 pm

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:05 pm

its lucky the pilots werent injured,they dont seem to wear their seatbelts.
your pilots today on this 747 flight are captain oliver hardy and assisting will be FO stan laurel.Have a safe flight
 
flybyguy
Posts: 1415
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:14 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 15):
Not to be too picky or technical, but I personally doubt it if was actually "severe turbulence".

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 happen to think that serious turbulence would be any turbulence that requires even the flight attendants to strap in.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
 
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apuneger
Posts: 2964
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:27 pm

I wonder what happened to the people who were visiting the toilets when this occured  Wink

Anyway, as already mentioned indeed, always keep your seatbelt on even when the light goes out.

Greets,
Ivan
Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
 
gmidy
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:25 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:40 pm

Turbulence should be expected across the Atlantic this time of year especially when heading east.
Lawrence
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:49 pm

Gmidy,

Please advise how turbulence can be direction specific?
 
selcalcheckok
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:37 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:26 pm

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 down the road

sorry i shouldnt have implied that it was franklin related, it was just carribean convection related.

ck
 
irishmd11
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2004 6:58 pm

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:34 pm

Quoting Justplanecrazy (Reply 25):
its lucky the pilots werent injured,they dont seem to wear their seatbelts.

Hmmmm, when was the last time you managed to check that out?

Gerry
ATR 72,Avro 85,BAC 1-11,Concorde,Trident,BAE146,BN Islander,707,727,737,741,743,744757,767,772,773,DC-9,DC-10,MD-11,MD-8
 
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litz
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RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:37 pm

Quoting CrossChecked (Reply 19):
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.

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, told everyone to belt in, etc ...

Guy on the other side of the MD80 in 2A was really cinching that belt tight, and I asked him if he'd had a bad turbulence episode before ... he said no, but he was a MX supervisor for DL and stated that if you'd ever had to clean sneakerprints off the CEILING of an airliner's cabin, then you'd be tugging on that belt super-tight, too ...

Told me about one plane that came in for MX after a turbulence episode ... a beverage cart had put a huge gash in the side-wall panel on the 3-seat side of the MD80. Think about that ... that means a HEAVY cart like that had to levitate to the level of the seatback tops, turn SIDEWAYS, then slam into the wall. God help anyone's head that was in the way ...

- litz (who ALWAYS wears his seatbelt when flying)
 
vsmike
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 12:40 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Wed Jul 27, 2005 11:44 pm

Hopefully no one injured, but Virgin would benefit from a good shake-up anyhow...  whistleblower 
Skyteam. Caring More About Me.
 
747luvr
Posts: 331
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:39 am

RE: Virgin Flight Suffers Severe Turbulence

Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:38 am

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 to a level plane and gunned the engines to full throttle, continued climbing and that was that. This all happened about 30 seconds after i turned my camcorder off.....figures.