Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 1999 5:43 am

Inflight Turbulence Injuries

Thu Jun 15, 2000 5:30 am

Hi ,

I'm doing a presentation next week on passengers getting injured or even killed in planes (widebodies at 30 000 ft). If you have any info about that topic, I'll be delighted!
(please with airline and approximate date and description , for instance that UAL 747 or AF 747 with some pax seriously injured)

Thanks a lot!!!

RE: Inflight Turbulence Injuries

Thu Jun 15, 2000 6:03 am

Well, you may want to check the CNN archives for the UAL 741/2 incident. From what I can remember, it occured 1-2 hours out of Narita, bound for Honolulu.

Severe turbulence (1.5G was it?), significant structural damage to the cabin interior, one fatality (pax. head colliding with cabin roof) and multiple injuries. Eventually returned to NRT.

The AF incident occured over Burkina Faso, I think I've got the reg. and date, I'll look it up. En route JNB-CDG, 744, hit storm cell, 1 fatality from pax. hitting IFE unit in Biz. Continued to CDG?


RE: Inflight Turbulence Injuries

Thu Jun 15, 2000 6:12 am

OK, I have it now, this is from Peter Gilchrist's excellent 744 book.

The reg. of that AF 744 was F-GITF, and the incident occurred in Sep'96. In addition to the fatality, three pax. were also "seriously injured".

Interestingly, this book has an index of 744-related incidents, including the unnoticed stall of an SQ 744 over Bucharest (unnoticed by the flight crew!!!).
Posts: 383
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 11:05 am

RE: Inflight Turbulence Injuries

Thu Jun 15, 2000 1:59 pm

Last year, the Lear Jet of the Greek Government was involved in a weird accident (turbulence ???) while descending to land at Bucharest. The Greek Deputy of Foreign Affairs was killed in that incident, as well as 1-2 more pax (a journalist, and a F/A if I remember well).
I will try to find some details..
Posts: 383
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 11:05 am

RE: Inflight Turbulence Injuries

Thu Jun 15, 2000 2:08 pm

Here is the story in summary from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis was killed in a freak accident shortly before midnight yesterday when a plane carrying a Greek diplomatic mission to Bucharest plummeted some 17,000 feet in the air prior to landing. A total of six people died in the accident, including the minister's 25-year-old son. The plane dropped from an altitude of 23,000 feet to 6,000 feet, before pilots landed the aircraft safely at the Bucharest airport. According to reports, the plane lost altitude as it entered an air pocket, fatally injuring six of the passengers on board the Falcon commuter jet used by the Greek premier for his official travels abroad.The Greek alternate FM was on his way to a six-nation Balkan foreign ministers' meeting in the Romanian capital, focusing on regional cooperation.

For more info go to
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 1999 5:43 am

RE: Inflight Turbulence Injuries

Fri Jun 16, 2000 6:17 am

Thanks a lot for your infos!

If you should have anything else about injuries from inflight turbulence, please contact me or answer to that post, as I have one week left to finish my presentation!

Do you have some more infos about that SQ 744 which stalled over Bucarest?

I appreciate a lot your cooperation!


RE: Inflight Turbulence Injuries

Fri Jun 16, 2000 6:48 am

Firstly, you may also wish to know that the flight crew are automatically absolved of responsibility in the event of pax. fatalities/injuries resulting in turbulence, even if the seat-belt signs were not illuminated.

Two reasons-turbulence occurs unpredictably; and a fatality or injury could perceivably occur in the time between the initial encounter of rough air, and the time it then takes the flightcrew to illuminate the signs.

Don't forget the crew advise pax. prior to T/O of the need to stay seated with belts on during the entire flight, as a precaution against severe CAT.

The stall of that SQ? Well, here's the extract:

16 Oct 1993 9V-??? [I wonder who supressed that info!!   ]

"This (unknown) SQ a/c appears to have lost airspeed and stalled while at cruising altitude on a normal SIN-LHR sector: witnesses in the cabin reported buffeting and audible stall-warnings, before some of the cabin staff were thrown off their feet and pax. drinks hit the ceiling. The pilots later said that one of the airspeed indicators appeared to be displaying "frozen" readings, and was therefore disagreeing with the other: the incident occurred while they were considering which instrument was providing the correct information. Boeing (and it's suppliers) examined all the equipment, systems and software that might have had a bearing on the problem, but nothing was found. The a/c itself was undamaged, and after a thorough check was returned to service.

Hmmm, something smells fishy about that....

Anyway, here's another interesting incident, out of the many I have relished reading:

5 Apr.97 G-BNLF [744]
This BA a/c suffered significant damage while attempting to land at Lilongwe Airport, Malawi, during a heavy rainstorm; the GWPS sounded a "sink rate" alarm immediately before touchdown, and windshear may have played a part in the subsequent 2.85G (!!) initial impact. The aircraft bounced into the air (a 744!!) again after this first contact, and the crew initiated a GA, which was followed by a perfectly normal landing. After a full "heavy landing" inspection at Lilongw, the a/c was returned to service, and flew two more sectors before returning to LGW. Only at LGW was the extent of the damage fully realised, and the a/c withdrawn from service. After being ferried to BA's maintenence HQ at LHR, a thorough check revealed a frightening degree of damage. The repairs took 6 weeks to complete and cost several million pounds.

Lots more 744 incidents in this great book.

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