On an early morning flight last week, I had the "pleasure" of experiencing wake turbulence. Our Dash-8 aircraft apparently got a little too close to a bigger plane as we were descending. The whole ride had been smooth and uneventful to this point, when suddenly we lurched, I'd say, about 50-55 degrees starboard, followed immediately by a lurch to port at about the same intensity. Needless to say, all the folks who were trying to wake up from the little nap they had caught on the plane found a way to do so.
Once on the ground, the captain came out and mentioned to another pilot flying in the cabin, "Did that get your attention? Certainly got mine!" He explained that he got caught in wake turbulence, and the vacationing pilot said, "I thought that's what it was."
My questions: 1) Exactly how close to death did I come this early Monday morning? The captain didn't seem too anxious about the whole situation, but all you pilots are always so level-headed anyway...
2) Was the lurch to port a result of passing through the second vortex left behind the plane (2 engines and all that), an overcorrection, or something different that my non-pilot brain can't even think of?