A Hong Kong Airlines cabin crew member has suffered serious injuries as a result of turbulence. The unfortunate incident occurred almost a month ago in June, however, has only just come to light.
Unfortunately, incidents involving turbulence causing injuries do happen. While the incidents appear to be coming more often, it could just be that more events are being reported and noticed. However, these accidents are serious, and should not be overlooked. Thankfully only one member of crew was seriously injured in this recent accident. However, we have seen turbulence where multiple passengers have needed hospital treatment.
So what is turbulence
Clear air turbulence, or CAT for short, refers to changes in the movement of air which can affect an aircraft’s flight. Typically this is experienced as a series of short shakes of the airplane. However, in the more serious cases, the aircraft can be violently thrown in one direction.
Turbulence can last for just a few seconds, or it can last for an entire flight. In fact, I can remember some longer flights where the seatbelt sign has barely gone off. Meanwhile, I have been on short hops when it has been off for the duration of the cruise.
If expecting turbulence, the pilot will typically switch on the fasten seatbelt sign. This is, understandably, to instruct passengers to strap in for safety. Should the aircraft suddenly be thrown, passengers are effectively tied to their seat by the seatbelt. However, sometimes the pilot will not have enough time to warn people. This is how injuries occur in turbulence.
Hong Kong Airlines incident
On the 18th of June, a Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330-200 experienced some turbulence flying from Beijing to Hong Kong. The Aviation Herald reported on the incident. Although the flight got off to a good start, as the aircraft was descending into Hong Kong, it hit some turbulence. As a result of the turbulence, a member of the cabin crew received severe injuries. At the time of writing, Simple Flying remains unaware of the crew member’s present condition.
Thankfully the aircraft went on to make a safe landing in Hong Kong. However, due to the injuries sustained by the crew member, the incident was referred to Hong Kong’s Air Accident Investigation Authority. They classified the occurrence as an accident given the injuries sustained.
Should I worry about turbulence?
While these turbulence incidents seem particularly scary, there is no need to worry. In fact, given the number of flights which successfully operate each day, incidents of severe turbulence are actually fairly rare.
What is the worst turbulence you’ve experienced? Let us know in the comments!