Amazing Footage: Video Of Severe Turbulence From Inside A Cabin

Yesterday an American Airlines flight from Seoul to Dallas diverted to Tokyo after hitting severe turbulence. Four passengers and one crewmember were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

We don’t generally put much thought into reports of turbulence, since it’s not something that really kills people. And we’ve all experienced some level of turbulence, so it doesn’t really sound that traumatizing.

However, there’s video of the turbulence from yesterday’s American flight, and it’s sort of chilling:

I’m short of breath just from having watched the video. You have people screaming, praying, etc.

There’s a lady two minutes into the video that screams “why is he not talking to us.” Presumably referring to why the pilot isn’t making an announcement despite them descending. I’d guess that would have something to do with the fact that he was trying to safely fly the plane and assess the situation. šŸ˜‰

Happy that everyone will ultimately be okay. What a video.

Comments

  1. LOL I loved the people “ooohing” and “awwwing”, or at least that’s how they sounded to me.

    Buckle up, it could be a bumpy ride.

  2. i’m curious why the flight deck crew weren’t advised of this rough air in advance so they could deviate altitude or course, these corridors are heavily traveled aren’t they?

  3. Good question Craig! How did this compare to your RJ flight last year? Also, do you think it’s appropriate to take a video during turbulence?

  4. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate is generally the pilot’s rule of thumb. As comforting as it would be to have the cockpit crew provide an update to the passengers, it’s critical that the problem is first resolved and that the aircraft is stable.

    Chilling footage though!

  5. Although extremely uncomfortable, as you noted: it’s not dangerous. Planes are designed to withstand way more than this.

    What I always do, is ‘enjoy’ it. Start saying wuuuuyyyy when we hit one, start smiling and laughing. It’s remarkable how that calms down people around you, especially if you start explaining the design features and limitations. When everyone’s screaming, that’ll only make it worse.

    My wife is dead scared of anything even remotely related to turbulence. She once almost freaked out when she felt the bump of the tire doors closing… but seeing me having fun really calms her down. I’ve hit turbulence comparable to this one, in which I had to hold on to the chair in front of me during the whole flight (1h20). Still, I always say: I’ve paid for a plane ticket, got a roller coaster for free.

  6. I am also curious as to why nobody is speaking to them. If not the pilot, then the crew? It seems to me that remaining silent (as per your RJ trip) is about the easiest way to cause panic.

  7. @JMR I’m just the same.. I scream weeeee with arms in the air. Flights are sooo boring. I’m always happy when we hit rough air as scary it may be for some. Of course an engine failure, blown tire, etc are not something I get excited about. This makes me wonder why can a flight attendant walk around with scalding hot coffees on plate while flying 600-700 mph at 35,000 feet while everyone must be buckled in while taxing on ground at 10 mph

  8. @ Joe — This is a two minute video immediately following severe turbulence. The cabin crew wasn’t informed of anything either until the pilots had time to brief them, and their immediate priority was flying the plane safely. This is a little bit different than Royal Jordanian, where Hong Kong was being hit with a horrible storm, and the crew presumably had access to that weather information in advance, and could have made an announcement before we started our descent and flew into the storm. Just my two cents, at least.

  9. @ Craig @ Joey — This was totally different than my Royal Jordanian experience. On this flight it looked like maybe a minute of pure torture, while Royal Jordanian was drawn out MUCH longer. And on Royal Jordanian it wasn’t the turbulence that scared me, per se, but rather all the other factors. Watching this did sort of bring back memories, though.

  10. @ pavel — Yeah, generally it’s true that they know of major turbulence in advance, but there are also exceptions, which is why these cases don’t happen all that often. This was definitely one of those exceptions.

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