What do pilots do during turbulence?
When a pilot encounters a rough patch of air, they may try to change the altitude they are flying at to avoid the patch of air and get smoother conditions. However, as turbulence is not a risk to plane safety, this is not necessary for the safety of the plane, but simply for the comfort of the passenger.
Is turbulence dangerous?
The number of passengers who have been injured by turbulence is minimal - under 60 people from over 3 billion annual passengers. These injuries are often minimal and far from life-threatening, such as spilling hot coffee or falling into a chair causing a little bruising. Additionally, out of these 60 people, over 2/3 of them were not wearing their seatbelt when it happened, meaning that most of the injuries are even more preventable. Planes are built to withstand turbulence, so there is an extremely low risk of a turbulence-indued plane crash.
Is turbulence scary?
Yes, turbulence can be scary, especially when you are not expecting it and suddenly you feel the plane lurch in the sky. However, it is important that if you are scared to remember facts on this page, such as how to cope and that it's completely normal when flying.
Is there a better seat to avoid turbulence?
According to experts, the best place to sit on a plane to avoid feeling the effects of turbulence is at the centre of the plane, closer to its centre of gravity. Likewise, the back of the plane tends to be rockiest, so best avoided for passengers nervous about flying with turbulence. Pilots will often also slow their speed to prevent damage, and also reroute the plane if necessary. If you want to select your seat so you can avoid the worst turbulence, learn how to here.
Is turbulence better at night?
Nighttime or morning flights are statistically better for turbulence, compared to those in the day. Although turbulence can't be completely avoided at night, winds are often weaker and thermal convection turbulence is less, making the chances of encountering turbulence reduced.
Is turbulence worse in small planes?
Although turbulence occurs in both large and small planes, it is typically worse in smaller planes because they weigh less, and so more likely to move in line with the air and thus feel turbulence more.
Is turbulence bad over the Atlantic?
Air and wind over the Atlantic is usually calm, providing some of the least turbulent routes. However, if flying in certain areas such as near the equator or north near the jetstream, you may encounter turbulence. However, this turbulence is usually predictable and so avoidable by the pilots.
Will I have turbulence on my flight?
Most flights encounter a bit of turbulence on any route and it is completely normal for this to happen.