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timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 321
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Turbulence and injuries

Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:33 am

I was just doing some back reading about a near collision involving a 747 and I think it was a DC10, anyway apparently tcas avoided a head on collision. The plane that maneuvered up, no pax injuries. The plane that was ordered to descend had 100 injuries. I can only assume that the pax in the DC10 which was ordered to climg, the pax simply felt g force, pushing them into their seat. The 747 on the other hand I can only assume from how these people sustained their injuries. Those were out of their seat or not wearing a seat belt who went zooming to the ceiling or thrown backwards 10 rows or whatever it was. I can only assume that the pilot pushed down on the yoke in a manner which he created negative g's. But what about when we here about injuries due to extreme turbulence the pilots were not aware of?

I can say that one time I was in severe or extreme turbulence. Now we were lucky in that the severe turbulence coming into Pittsburg. Was known about several minutes in advance. So, the FA's were able to quickly secure the cabin, no drinks or food out, carts put away. To the FA's I'm sure I'm missing things but I think I got my point being we were well prepared for this. Now, especially for those of you who've flown hundreds of times, or pilots who get that number into the thousands, career FA's who also probably fly more than a thousand times. And I think I'm being conservative if anything. I'm not saying I've been through worse turbulence than you have, Just that what I went through can be considered severe.

I often felt weightless and on several times felt some impressive g forces pushing me into my seat

I've seen several hurricane hunter shows. Hard to think that you're going to find worse turbulence than that, and while obviously the pilots and any others who were in the plane were secured as well. Still, it often appears to me that they experience more of the weightless zero g with down drafts, or is it possible (pilot and FA or those who've flown several hundred times input please) can turbulence create such a down draft that creates negative g's?

I've often wondered if "some" of the injuries sustained by turbulence if not faked, greatly exaggerated for lawsuits or some sort of money making scheme. Obviously with the unexpected turbulence with the seat belt sign off people in the lav or in the isles, FA's up and about the cabin and gallery. For those not wearing seatbelts are thrown up and out of their seats or straight up causing significant damage to the ceiling. Can turbulence really cause negative g's to create and or sustain such injuries?
 
T4thH
Posts: 965
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:17 pm

Re: Turbulence and injuries

Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:38 am

timh4000 wrote:
I was just doing some back reading about a near collision involving a 747 and I think it was a DC10, anyway apparently tcas avoided a head on collision. The plane that maneuvered up, no pax injuries. The plane that was ordered to descend had 100 injuries. I can only assume that the pax in the DC10 which was ordered to climg, the pax simply felt g force, pushing them into their seat. The 747 on the other hand I can only assume from how these people sustained their injuries. Those were out of their seat or not wearing a seat belt who went zooming to the ceiling or thrown backwards 10 rows or whatever it was. I can only assume that the pilot pushed down on the yoke in a manner which he created negative g's. But what about when we here about injuries due to extreme turbulence the pilots were not aware of?

I can say that one time I was in severe or extreme turbulence. Now we were lucky in that the severe turbulence coming into Pittsburg. Was known about several minutes in advance. So, the FA's were able to quickly secure the cabin, no drinks or food out, carts put away. To the FA's I'm sure I'm missing things but I think I got my point being we were well prepared for this. Now, especially for those of you who've flown hundreds of times, or pilots who get that number into the thousands, career FA's who also probably fly more than a thousand times. And I think I'm being conservative if anything. I'm not saying I've been through worse turbulence than you have, Just that what I went through can be considered severe.

I often felt weightless and on several times felt some impressive g forces pushing me into my seat

I've seen several hurricane hunter shows. Hard to think that you're going to find worse turbulence than that, and while obviously the pilots and any others who were in the plane were secured as well. Still, it often appears to me that they experience more of the weightless zero g with down drafts, or is it possible (pilot and FA or those who've flown several hundred times input please) can turbulence create such a down draft that creates negative g's?

I've often wondered if "some" of the injuries sustained by turbulence if not faked, greatly exaggerated for lawsuits or some sort of money making scheme. Obviously with the unexpected turbulence with the seat belt sign off people in the lav or in the isles, FA's up and about the cabin and gallery. For those not wearing seatbelts are thrown up and out of their seats or straight up causing significant damage to the ceiling. Can turbulence really cause negative g's to create and or sustain such injuries?

Do not underestimate the risk of turbulence and the regular high numbers of hurt persons. The critical point are the heads, these are the most often and most worse hurt parts of all. Especially if the passengers are not warned early and not prepared, there are hurt passengers. Often enough, the issues/turbulence occurred so suddenly, that they just do not have any chance to protect their heads with their arms e.g.; suddenly, if they have not fasten the seat belt, the passenger heads clash against the roofs, got unconscious and then dead weights are flying around with all other not fastened equipment, like dinner trays, notebooks , the dollies, small suitcases e.g. and in worst case are bouncing several times between roof and floors. And if someone was a "good passenger" and has fastened his seat belt; it will not help him, if the idiot few rows behind him has not and the skull of the 80 kg dead weight clashes directly against the head of the "good passenger"...or a notebook, or a dolly during lunch time or some bottles, if someone was in the duty free shop and the bins above you are smashed by an idiot, and breaks open....
Even if everyone has fastened the seat belt; there is always enough material/equipment in a jet, which will fly around during turbulence and hit someone, especially when there is not enough time to be prepared (and it is lunch time).
 
Eikie
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:15 pm

Re: Turbulence and injuries

Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:09 pm

I am not sure what you mean with hurricane hunter shows, but if you are talking about research planes entering hurricanes and such, that is totally different than "normal" (heavy) turbulence.

A hurricane is primarily horizontal windshear and while that creates quote some turbulence, it's mostly in a horizontal plane, i.e. left/right.

Other turbulence, caused bij jetstreams, mountains, buildings or other aircraft is more verticale, creating zero/negative and positive g loads.
And yes, it is possible to lift a fully loaded trolley several meters into the air during such an event, if you are unlucky, so a human body wouldn't be any different.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 15102
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

Re: Turbulence and injuries

Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:30 pm

Clear air turbulence, often with little or no warning is often the most likely to cause serious injuries. That is why I always keep my seat belt fastened at all times in flight in my seat.
With improvements in weather information technology and communications the risk can be reduced and sufficient warnings to passengers and crew to be seated and belts on. Risks of turbulence is also why babies should be in an appropriate safety seat and not in the parent's lap. Aggravating injuries can be the increased loads in overhead compartments and idiots who despite the seat belt signs on go to the bathroom or get up to get something from the overhead.
 
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CarlosSi
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Re: Turbulence and injuries

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:24 pm

Didn’t someone die on a UA 747 from turbulence? It was a pretty bad jerk I heard, and they weren’t strapped in (standing I think).
 
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PPVLC
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 12:07 pm

Re: Turbulence and injuries

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:17 pm

I had a nasty near miss once, the evasive manoeuver was quite dramatic, I was leaving the galley and got thrown on an empty passenger seat (the row was empty I'm glad to say), the Gforce was so strong I couldn't lift my arms to fasten the seat belt. I knew something wrong was happening and the only priority in my mind was to secure myself with the seat belt but it was simply impossible, I started to blackout and I had no idea how long it took for the plane to resume normal flight. I was lucky to just bash my leg on the armrest and get a bruise but IF there were more passengers onboard, or IF I had fallen on an open trolley door, or onto a baby who knows how this episode could have ended.
Cabin crew L188 707 727 737 767 A300 DC10 MD11 777 747
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Turbulence and injuries

Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:26 pm

CarlosSi wrote:
Didn’t someone die on a UA 747 from turbulence? It was a pretty bad jerk I heard, and they weren’t strapped in (standing I think).


https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19971228-0

This is the one you are thinking of, yes?

Anything can happen at any moment. Always wear your seatbelts!!
 
Rossiya747
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:56 am

Re: Turbulence and injuries

Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:00 pm

There was a Turkish 777 on final approach a few months (or years?) ago that had many passengers injured because they weren't buckled up.
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BravoEcho757
Posts: 23
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Re: Turbulence and injuries

Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:10 pm

Years ago I was flying into BOS on a Business Express S340B and we jostled pretty good. The flight was smooth and quiet and then BAM! After we got knocked around everyone was obviously concerned but the F/A was amazing and immediately took care of us (not many on board maybe 12-15). No one was injured severely but I was pretty sore from my arm being slammed into the armrest. Other people said it their stomach took a beating because of the seat belt. EMS met the plane in BOS but no one needed further care so off we went.

If I was up and using the restroom I shudder to think what could have happened. So based on that I have to disagree that people make it up or accentuate their injuries, turbulence is no joke.
 
timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 321
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: Turbulence and injuries

Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:50 pm

I wasn't trying to imply that turbulence is not potentially harmful when people are not wearing their seat belts, or are in the lav or isle. And the unexpected severe turbulence is probably an F/A'S most likely way to get injured on the job. I had not realised that turbulence can create negative g's which would violently toss someone unbelted up to the ceiling. I've only seen and experienced zero g. I guess here's hoping my Pittsburg flight is the worst I will ever experience.
 
F9Animal
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Re: Turbulence and injuries

Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:30 am

I was flying in a UA 747-400 from IAD to SFO in the mid 90's. Flying in first class. I went to the back of the plane to check out the crew rest areas, and was getting the tour when the captain suddenly came on and told everyone to take their seats and buckle up. I climbed down the ladder and took a seat in the last row. Then the captain came on and told the flight attendants to take their seats "now." Not even a minute after that, it was insane. Every single item that was loose crashed into ceiling. Food trays, carry on bags, drinks, you name it. It was absolutely crazy rough for about 5 minutes. I will never forget looking up the aisle and seeing how bad things looked. Even the overhead bins came open and spilled contents everywhere.

After we cleared the mess, the captain came back on and asked that we stay seated until they were sure we were past it. Eventually I made my way back to my first class seat. Unfortunately, my seat mate was being tended to by flight attendants. My drink hit the ceiling and came crashing down on his wrist and broke it! They used the heavy bottom glasses back then. I felt horrible. They considered making an unscheduled landing in Chicago or Denver, but we soldiered on to SFO. The poor neighbor was taken by EMT's after we landed. He was miserable for the remainder of the flight. Thankfully he was the most seriously injured. There were also a few passengers with cuts and bruises as well.

From that day on, I wear my seatbelt even when they turn that seatbelt sign off. I gotta say, that was pretty scary stuff. I have flown alot, and that was by far one of the worst.

I bet that plane took hours to clean too! There was food, wine, and all kinds of stuff on the ceilings! It almost looked like an artist came in and splashed stuff all over the ceilings.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
planecane
Posts: 1559
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Re: Turbulence and injuries

Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:37 am

Eikie wrote:
I am not sure what you mean with hurricane hunter shows, but if you are talking about research planes entering hurricanes and such, that is totally different than "normal" (heavy) turbulence.

A hurricane is primarily horizontal windshear and while that creates quote some turbulence, it's mostly in a horizontal plane, i.e. left/right.

Other turbulence, caused bij jetstreams, mountains, buildings or other aircraft is more verticale, creating zero/negative and positive g loads.
And yes, it is possible to lift a fully loaded trolley several meters into the air during such an event, if you are unlucky, so a human body wouldn't be any different.


Technically, the trolley isn't being lifted, the floor is dropping out from under it.
 
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AirAfreak
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Re: Turbulence and injuries

Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:35 am

On December 26th, 2004, I was seated in L’espace Affaires from CDG-JFK on the 777-200 and was surprised to receive the entire meal service during the turbulence crossing the Atlantic. I overheard the discontinuation of service announcement in Tempo due to turbulence and wondered shocked how dedicated Air France treated its’ Business and First Class passengers during that moment.
Korean Air | Excellence in Flight.
 
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Lingon
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: Turbulence and injuries

Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:22 pm

timh4000 wrote:
I've often wondered if "some" of the injuries sustained by turbulence if not faked, greatly exaggerated for lawsuits or some sort of money making scheme. Obviously with the unexpected turbulence with the seat belt sign off people in the lav or in the isles, FA's up and about the cabin and gallery. For those not wearing seatbelts are thrown up and out of their seats or straight up causing significant damage to the ceiling. Can turbulence really cause negative g's to create and or sustain such injuries?


To the last question - a definitive yes!

I only experienced negative G:s once but it was by turbulence and very brief, but also very sudden. From some light shaking to a pebble in a maraca in a blink of the eye. Starting with a second or two with neg G, the whole upset took some 10 or 20 seconds. Now, this was during a typhoon and we were all strapped in very well and informed before push-back that there would be no service, all lav visits needed to be done before push-back etc. If I remember correctly, the F/As even adjusted some seatbelts to make sure people were wearing them tightly. AFAIK, no one was hurt.

But it is an odd (and hurtful) feeling when only the seatbelt keeps you from flying up and hitting the ceiling. Funny enough, my strongest memory is the deafening scream through the cabin when it happened. And the forces, I am not surprised people are hurt or even killed if anyone would not be strapped in or any loose item flying around. Also, this upset was short, I can't imagine how it would be to endure minutes of this. My memory fading I'm not sure if some bins opened but if they were they were just a few. I don't remember flying items. Certainly this was because the whole thing was anticipated and the cabin prepared for it from start.

Of course there might be people faking injuries at some occasion, but yes, if you are not strapped in during such an event or if something flies away and hits you, the probability you get seriously injured is significant.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Turbulence and injuries

Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:05 pm

timh4000 wrote:
I had not realised that turbulence can create negative g's which would violently toss someone unbelted up to the ceiling.

It definitely can. I was once on a flight where we hit clear air turbulence, and the seatbelt sign was off. I was returning to my seat from the lavatory when the plane dropped from underneath me and I went head first into the ceiling.
Captain Kevin

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