There was a report yesterday of a transatlantic flight having to divert because of injuries sustained by some passengers during turbulence. It seems that the passengers were not wearing seatbelts and that the Seat Belt Signs were not illuminated/on. This is a very rare and unusual combination of events if the report is true and supports the idea that whenever you are seated it’s a good idea to have you belt securely fastened.
Turbulence is uncomfortable ...but that's not the same as dangerous
I’m slightly at a loss as to know why the pilot hadn’t put the seat belt signs on as before the flight she/he would have seen the weather map for the route and possible areas of turbulence. It’s also the custom for pilots to check in with each other about the state of the ‘Ride’ at any particular height. Pilots are in constant communication with each other on these flights about the weather conditions.
The aircraft was examined by engineers and as far as I know has been cleared for use in service. Yet another example of how strong aircraft are with regard to the effects of turbulence on them.
There is a lot of information about turbulence and all matters of interest and concern to anxious passengers in our CD Set which explains everything you need to know about flying along with the sounds and noises that you hear in flight.
Turbulence is one of the subjects that is least understood by most air travellers and certainly is the number one reason for a fear of flying. Remember that the more you understand about flying the less likely you are to let things worry you excessively. Controlling your thoughts is important in finding a lasting strategy to overcome your fears.
And a reminder for all UK readers we run monthly Fear of Flying courses which you can read about here