The truth about turbulence

If you fly on a regular basis you might be acquainted with the occurrence of the plane suddenly dropping 20 meters or so, and the flight turning into a wild rollercoaster ride causing your stomach to lurch. This is called turbulence and unfortunately it can’t always be announced in time for you to return to your seat and fasten your seatbelt.

What exactly is turbulence?

Turbulence is a natural effect that arises when the air currents change due to high differences in temperature or air pressure. The latter occurs when you fly from an area with high air pressure to an area with lower air pressure.

This transition can cause turbulence. Changing wind directions also play a part in the equation. Turbulence is likely to occur when flying over mountains or the transition between sea and land. The plane starts shaking and/or makes a small ‘drop’. It is not dangerous if you stay seated.

How do you fly conveniently in spite of turbulence?

You may have seen it on the news, passengers injured due to turbulence or pieces of luggage that had fallen out of the overhead compartments. How can you prevent his? First of all it is important that you always store you luggage items exactly as the cabin crew requests. Cases go into the luggage compartments above your head and extra backpacks or handbags go under the seat in front of you. Ensure that your bag is properly closed again after you have taken something out of it.

Also it is important to always fasten your seatbelt while seated to prevent you flying out of your seat should turbulence hit, as it can occur quite suddenly and without warning.

Breathe in, breathe out

Some passengers experience turbulence as scary or frightening. We admit, it isn’t the most comfortable feeling when the plane starts to shake and you realize that you are six miles up in the air. It is important that you remind yourself that turbulence is a daily occurrence and pilots are trained to handle it. You have nothing to worry about. So breathe in, breathe out. It will be over before you know it.

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