As we approach summer in North America now is a good time to give some explanation of what steps crew takes to reduce the incidences of turbulence-related injuries.
Turbulence is the leading cause of injury to passengers and crew in nonfatal accidents worldwide . It is reported that over 25% of turbulence-related injuries result in the aircraft diverting.
During flight planning before a flight , crew begin by reviewing all available weather maps from departure to arrival .
These include Airport weather reports , SIGMET, SIGWX and turbulence chart .
At this stage of planning the location of the tropopause is noted .
The tropopause is the height at which the temperature becomes constant giving a guide to as where the jet streams are and the associated high wind and turbulence.
On long haul flights, a route clear of areas of predicted severe turbulence is often the best option in ultimately ensuring the safety of passengers and crew.
In flight predicting the position and severity of turbulence can be tricky.
The crew gathers all available data to possible. Preceding aircraft reports , identifying cloud formations conducive to turbulence and proactive use of turbulence penetration procedures can assist in avoiding or at the very least reducing the effect of any encounter.
All aircraft manufacturers have procedures if severe turbulence is encountered .one of the key points is the turbulence penetration speed.
The turbulence penetration speed provides ample protection from stall and high-speed buffet and also providing protection from exceeding the structural limit .
The use of the auto flight system is also recommended .
Expeditious use of the seat belt sign is critical in preventing injury to passengers and crew.
This combined with associated PA helps the cabin crew prepare in advance the cabin by securing the galleys and ensuring all passengers and crews are seated.
What is not widely understood is it takes the Cabin crew 10 to 15 minutes to fully secure the cabin if the cabin service is in underway .
Finally reporting turbulence encounters assists following aircraft .
Such reports include position , level, and intensity