Happened just 30 min before landing. No any PIREP, No any report about TURBULENCE. At least 36 people have been injured, 11 seriously, after a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix to Honolulu was hit by severe turbulence. The airline said it was conducting a “thorough investigation” of the plane before it returns to service.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will probe a Hawaiian Airlines flight struck by severe turbulence that resulted in three dozen passenger and crew injuries, leaving parts of the cabin’s interior visibly damaged.
One passenger said the shaking became so severe they were “pretty much floating off of our chairs”.
Twenty people were taken to local hospitals with injuries ranging from lacerations, bruising and loss of consciousness to head injuries.
Thunderstorms were reported in the area at the time of the turbulence.
This is exactly why you MUST keep your seat belts on.
Hawaiian Airlines’ chief operating officer Jon Snook said he was “grateful” for the support provided by emergency services and that “it looks like everybody’s going to survive”.
He added there had been unstable weather conditions in Hawaii recently that created challenges for airlines.
One passenger told Hawaiian broadcaster KHON2 that the severe turbulence only lasted a few seconds, but it was enough to injure the passengers.
“It was just rocky. And then, it quickly just escalated to, like, the point where we’re shaking so much that we were, like, pretty much floating off of our chairs,” Jacie Hayata Ano said.
“You could see people were hurt around us and things are just everywhere… that’s pretty surreal,” she added.
The airline said it was conducting a “thorough investigation” of the plane before it returns to service.
Why turbulence is (usually) nothing to worry about
Turbulence is a fact of flying – however severe incidents like those on flight HA35 experienced are rare, and a bit of a bumpy flight is usually nothing to worry about.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), turbulence can be caused by:
- air movement not normally seen
- atmospheric pressure
- jet streams
- air around mountains
- cold or warm weather fronts
Sometimes it can be predicted – and pilots are known to radio to each other to give advanced warnings – but it can also come out of nowhere. Even though it is a weather phenomenon, turbulence can happen anywhere and in any conditions.
The most important thing to do is to keep your seatbelt on – on average 58 people in the US are injured during turbulent flights when not wearing seatbelts every year, according to the FAA.