Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Passengers Wounded on Bumpy Flight: How Dangerous Is Turbulence?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Passengers Wounded on Bumpy Flight: How Dangerous Is Turbulence?

Article excerpt

Seven people aboard an Allegiant Airlines flight landed in the hospital after the plane encountered severe turbulence on flight from the Dominican Republic to Pittsburg, Pa.

The turbulence was rattling enough that some passengers were thrown from their seats, and a flight attendant hit her head. The plane was diverted to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. None of the injuries were life-threatening, according to the Broward County sheriff's office in Florida. The flight attendant was the most seriously hurt.

While turbulence can be a scary part of plane travel, it is a normal and routine occurrence, caused by conditions in the atmosphere like atmospheric pressure or jet streams. Flying over mountain ranges can also produce rough weather. Because turbulence can sometimes be difficult for pilots to predict, they use turbulence reports from other pilots who have flown on the same or similar path.

Even though turbulence is normal, it can still be dangerous, which is why the Federal Aviation Administration requires passengers to wear their seatbelts as the airplane leaves the gate, after take- off, during landing and taxi, and whenever the seatbelt sign is illumined. …

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