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Mid-Air Drama or Normal

Sydney, Australia
posts: 4
reviews: 12
Mid-Air Drama or Normal

Just arrived in Australia from flight BA15 London-Sydney. At 10000 metres, 2 hours after take-off whilst somewhere over Brussels our plane dropped suddenly and dramatically along with a few bumps. The air crew advised it was from our plane flying through air turbulence of a passing "larger aircraft". At that height in the middle of nowhere is that normal........

Madrid
posts: 2,856
reviews: 7
1. Re: Mid-Air Drama or Normal

Quite easy to fly through wake turbulence.

Did crew make the usual announcement about keep your seat belt fastened whilst seated?

UK
posts: 46,855
reviews: 90
2. Re: Mid-Air Drama or Normal

At that height in the middle of nowhere is that normal........

----------

Yes, rare but normal if that makes sense. This is why the advice to always have your seat belt done up is not just nannyish, it can save you from serious injury.

A year or two ago there were some pics circulating of the devastation when a plane suddenly dropped 50 or 100 feet whilst food was being served, complete mess, people with broken limbs etc.

It's often called "clear air turbulence" search on that in google you'll find plenty of examples.

UK
posts: 46,855
reviews: 90
3. Re: Mid-Air Drama or Normal

Re post 1 not that I am an expert but I thought that wake turbulence, flying through the wake from a previous plane, is more generally lower and nearer an airport after another plane has taken off a few minutes before you?

At cruising altitude like the OPs flight, I think it's less likely to have been wake than clear air but in any case keep your seat belt done up :-)

Sydney, Australia
posts: 4
reviews: 12
4. Re: Mid-Air Drama or Normal

agreed. it was the distance from origin and height that concerned us for such an incident

Sydney, Australia
posts: 4
reviews: 12
5. Re: Mid-Air Drama or Normal

No, that's the point of my message. No notice whatsoever, just smooth flying then sudden drop. I believe it caught them by surprise. A passenger on the window side saw the lights of the aircraft, distance unsure but at 10kilometres height with so much airspace about it seemed a concerned event.

East Sussex, United...
posts: 4,414
reviews: 1
6. Re: Mid-Air Drama or Normal

<<< At that height in the middle of nowhere is that normal........>>>

I think it was probably more likely to be clear air or weather related turbulence at that altitude, but you certainly weren't in ' the middle of nowhere '. The skies above Europe are teeming with aircraft.

http://www.flightradar24.com/51.5,-0.13/7

I am another advocate for keeping my seat belt on throughout the flight. I shudder when I read reports of people flying with babies or young children on their laps with no form of restraint at all. Worse still was the recent poster who boasted about sleeping on the floor of the aircraft, in the emergency exit row of all places. Shame on the flight crew who allowed that.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 12,807
reviews: 23
7. Re: Mid-Air Drama or Normal

Although aircraft radar can spot some turbulence ensuring that the pilots can avoid it or advise passengers this is not always the case and sudden drops in altitude are rare but a normal event. I doubt it would be wake turbulence because of the aircraft separation rules applied by air traffic control.

Dubai, United Arab...
posts: 4,101
reviews: 14
8. Re: Mid-Air Drama or Normal

Very frequent and normal event. Have not seen any incidence report filed, hence this was not even something dramatic. The experience / feeling will be different from where you sit in an aircraft.

Turbulences as such are not visible on the weather radar. Given separation rules and speed it could have been a wake turbulence. But I don't think that matters in this context.

This is the very reason to keep your seat belts on at all the times when seated (as advised on every flight). They do not need to be that tight but just closed so you cannot be thrown out of the seat (e.g. against the ceiling or elsewhere).

Many people get injured every year because they are not strapped in.

Madrid
posts: 2,856
reviews: 7
9. Re: Mid-Air Drama or Normal

Re post 1 not that I am an expert but I thought that wake turbulence, flying through the wake from a previous plane, is more generally lower and nearer an airport after another plane has taken off a few minutes before you?

At cruising altitude like the OPs flight, I think it's less likely to have been wake than clear air but in any case keep your seat belt done up :-)

Wake turbulence is caused by flying through the wake of another aircraft,especially the circular wingtip vortices.Often found passing behind another aircraft at cruising altitude,between 200 and 1000 feet below.

Worthing, United...
posts: 6,238
reviews: 11
10. Re: Mid-Air Drama or Normal

Hi

Two hours to Brussells from London? No wonder there was turbulence the pilot must have been flying zig zag.

Jackie