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Author Topic: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?  (Read 2320 times)

Offline lunar11

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Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« on: 19/04/2013 22:16:03 »
I have a fear of flying, primarily because of turbulance. In the news recently it has been mentioned that there will be an increase in turbulance as regards commercial flight. Is turbulance dangerous? could it cause a plane to crash?


 

Offline JP

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Re: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« Reply #1 on: 19/04/2013 22:50:36 »
Generally, planes are build to withstand significant turbulence, so it isn't a big issue.  But there is a slight risk with turbulence, so technically more turbulence does mean a little bit more danger.

Here's a source that sums it up: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/06/can_turbulence_cause_a_plane_crash_.html
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« Reply #2 on: 19/04/2013 23:08:52 »
Turbulence is dangerous - but commercial airlines have radar that can pick up storm cells far ahead, and avoid them.
That leaves the occasional event of "Clear Air Turbulence", which does not show up on conventional weather radar (but does show up on specialised laser devices).
Commercial aircraft are designed to withstand quite severe levels of turbulence. Most injuries occur when people are thrown around within the aircraft - striking heads on the roof, or hitting the floor.

There is a good aircraft communications network so that reports of turbulence are relayed to other aircraft (at least on well-traveled routes).
But the best protection is to leave your seat-belt fastened throughout the flight, even when sleeping - and fasten it again when you return to your seat.

Without wanting to concern you, here is a list of potential risks to air flight, for which planes are designed, and for which pilots have specific training: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_upset_factors
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« Reply #3 on: 20/04/2013 00:52:19 »
You would have to say that statistically, flying is a lot safer than driving, for long journeys (and bus is very good, too).

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_safety#Statistics
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« Reply #4 on: 21/04/2013 19:33:18 »
Did they adapt it for the amount of buses relative personal vehicles?
I remember one driver in Thailand, letting go of the steering wheel in a steep curve around a mountain, to clap three times just to let the Gods know he needed some help here. It was a well know, accident prone curve, with a very small (road size?) temple on the other side of the road at the mountain wall. And he told me that he could guarantee it to help, because he had never went of the mountain, and he never forgot to pray.
 

Offline lunar11

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Re: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« Reply #5 on: 21/04/2013 20:37:48 »
You would have to say that statistically, flying is a lot safer than driving, for long journeys (and bus is very good, too).

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_safety#Statistics [nofollow]
Thanks. I don't care what the statistics are...I still prefer to be on the ground.
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« Reply #6 on: 21/04/2013 21:03:32 »
I myself enjoy turbulance. I find it quite fun. But I'm strange that way. :)

Whether it's dangerous or not is merely a question of severity. Planes can take a certain amount of a beating. They're designed to take the worst of what they're expected to fly through. Obviously a plane won't fly through a region of the sky where there could be severe weather and/or a tornado. Just like a car. A car is supposed to be designed to be able to hit certain size bumps in the road but they obviously can't hit  pothole three feet deep and ten feet wide. Same idea with a plane.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« Reply #7 on: 22/04/2013 00:08:25 »
It has recently been suggested that global warming will lead to atmospheric changes that will increase the amount of clear air turbulence at the level at which most jets cruise. This will potentially increase fuel costs, increase inspection and maintenance costs, and shorten anticipated plane lifetimes; this, in turn, will cause ticket prices to rise.
 

Offline HellsMascot

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Re: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« Reply #8 on: 22/04/2013 06:01:45 »
It has recently been suggested that global warming will lead to atmospheric changes that will increase the amount of clear air turbulence at the level at which most jets cruise. This will potentially increase fuel costs, increase inspection and maintenance costs, and shorten anticipated plane lifetimes; this, in turn, will cause ticket prices to rise.

By the time this is an issue, the cruising altitude of jets (commercial and private) will be much higher than it currently is. There exist 1.0 boatloads of logistic problems in the airline industry, but this is not one to be concerned about.

To address lunar's concern: I hope the posters here have assuaged your fears. Flying in an airplane piloted by professionals on a commercial airline should give you a certain sense of statistical safety; the chances of the plane crashing are so small that you have nothing to fear. Of course, all actions in life have their associated risks - turbulence can cause a plane to crash, but having slightly worn tires on your car can also 'cause' you to crash, but you don't worry about that because you are driving the car and therefore you have the illusion of control. This is the reason why some people are afraid of flying - because of the notion of being subjected to a novel experience during which they have no control over their own fate. In truth, you are just psyching yourself out. Ruminations of your own instinctual 'what if?' thought process designed to keep you from being eaten have gotten the best of you. Worst case scenario, you can take sedatives to reduce your anxiety or to sleep through the flight.  :P
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« Reply #9 on: 22/04/2013 10:03:15 »
... Worst case scenario, you can take sedatives to reduce your anxiety or to sleep through the flight.  :P
Of course, sedatives have their own potential dangers... :P
 

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Re: Is turbulance dangerous in flight?
« Reply #9 on: 22/04/2013 10:03:15 »

 

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