A few facts on air turbulence

Air turbulence can be a frightening thing, especially those who have a fear of flying. When the plane shakes violently, some passengers completely lose it. It’s a good thing that many of the things people believe about turbulence are not actually true.

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Image source: bgr.com

While there is no radar or sonar technology to detect incoming turbulence as of yet, pilots can find out if there are some rough winds ahead through other pilots in other aircrafts in the vicinity. However, the sky is too vast to have pilots in every section of it reporting turbulence, which means the winds can hit unexpectedly.

As unexpected as air turbulence might be, with the advancement of aviation technology, it’s highly improbable for turbulence alone to bring down a plane. The circumstances have to be extreme; so extreme that the last aircraft downed by turbulence happened over half-a-century ago.

It is also untrue that air turbulence leads to passenger injuries. The estimated number of injuries caused by turbulence according to the Federal Aviation Administration is 35 to 40 cases annually. That’s a rather small number given the fact that over 800 million people fly the friendly skies every year. What’s more those 35 to 40 people are either people who haven’t fastened their seatbelts when told to or flight attendants serving passengers’ needs.

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Image source: capl.washjeff.edu

Scott Beale is an Aviation and Aerospace Professional, leading the company in multimillion-dollar contract management and strategic planning with managed assets of more than $50 million. Visit this blog to know more about the aviation industry.

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A Glossary for Aviation Jargon

Scott Beale defines a few aviation terms to help others understand the language of the airlines.

If you’ve ever taken a flight, domestic or international, I’m sure you’ve experienced some form of confusion by the jargon either spoken over the microphone or face-to-face by airline workers. Travelers who make dozens of flights a year can find themselves having only a vague understanding of this airline language. Patrick Smith wrote the book about everything you need to know when it comes to air travel, Cockpit Confidential. Here are a few terms he describes.

AIR POCKET
An air pocket is a colloquial term for a jolt of turbulence.

ALL-CALL
When a pilot comes over the intercom announcing “…all-call,” they are looking for all the flight attendants to report from his or her stations as part of the arming/disarming procedure.

ALLEY
Also known as the “ramp,” this is the passageway or taxiway between terminals.

APRON
This references where the planes park for servicing or any large space of Tarmac (asphalt) that is not being used as an alley or runway.

AREA OF WEATHER
Area of weather is a less alarming way for the pilot to announce a detour due to a thunderstorm or heavy precipitation ahead.

 

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