What is turbulence, really in the plane

What is turbulence.

Turbulence is irregular air movement that causes erratic changes in the altitude or angle of the plane, which feels like bumpiness, choppiness or tossing for the people on board.

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What is turbulence?

Atmospheric pressure, air around mountains and weather fronts or storms can all cause turbulence, according to the FAA. Jet streams — narrow bands of strong wind in the upper levels of the atmosphere — are a common cause of turbulence, too.

Environment: Climate Change Could Bump Up Instances Of Turbulence

One of the most dangerous kinds of turbulence is what’s known as clear-air turbulence, which gives no visible warning and often occurs when pilots don’t have the fasten seatbelt sign turned on.

“It’s completely invisible to the naked eye, to the radar, to satellites,” Williams, the weather researcher, says. “The only information we have about it, really, is when a plane goes through it.”

Climate change is causing more instability in the jet streams and making wind speeds faster, which will cause more turbulence when the skies appear clear. By 2050, pilots around the world can expect to encounter at least twice as much severe clear-air turbulence, Williams found in his research.

Clear-air turbulence is what caused a Lufthansa flight traveling from Texas to Germany to unexpectedly drop 1,000 feet this past week. The sudden turbulence occurred during meal service.  When crew and passengers were moving around the cabin. The plane was diverted to Washington Dulles International Airport, and seven people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Regardless of what kind of turbulence a flight may be experiencing, experts say the best thing for passengers to do to avoid injury is to keep their seatbelts buckled, follow carry-on restrictions and listen to instructions from pilots and flight attendants.

Turbulence can also mean damage for aircrafts!

What is turbulence

In all, about 65,000 flights encounter moderate turbulence every year, and about 5,500 encounter severe turbulence, according to the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

It’s almost unheard of for turbulence to cause a crash, but it can lead to costly repairs for carriers. Usually, the damage is to cabin components like seats and overhead bins when luggage falls out or people hit them.

Turbulence-related damage, delays and injuries cost airlines up to $500 million per year.

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