I’m keeping my seat belt fastened after reading what happened to a Hawaiian flight from Pago Pago to Honolulu that encountered clear air turbulence.
The incident resulted in one of the flight attendants breaking a leg and three others being injured. Surprisingly, although the flight had just departed Samoa, it continued on for the five hour flight to Honolulu.
While aircraft are obviously designed to withstand severe turbulence, we humans are not. And problems like this are not as rare as one would hope.
Turbulence leading cause of injuries to airline passengers and crew in non-fatal accidents. –FAA
In another incident, a women was paralyzed recently on a Continental flight when she went to the lavatory while the seat belt sign was illuminated. She didn’t think a quick restroom visit would be a problem. Turbulence, however, smashed her head against the ceiling in the bathroom.
There are approximately 65,000 annual reported incidents of moderate to severe turbulence in the U.S. and 60 people a year get hurt. The primary reason: not wearing seat belts. And this incident on Hawaiian Air, was simply too close to home.
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I just leave my belt anytime I am sitting in my seat. Even the best radar can fail to properly detect the ‘clear’ turbulence. Pilots can be just as surprised by suddenly bumpy weather as you and don’t have any time to warn you.
If I had a dollar for every nit wit who decides to take a stroll after the seat belt sign goes on — even just for those who then refuse to take their seats after a specific warning — I’d have more than enough to fly first class from Maui to Paris and back again. It would be fine if they only endangered themselves, but you just know that when they come crashing down it will be on an infant or an older person, or quite possibly, me. Idiots!
60 People a year out of how many passenger trips?
Nevertheless I have for any years now always kept the seatbelt buckled loosely when seated. No reason not to.
Hmmmmmmmmm…..Perhaps we should listen to the flight crew when they tell us to stay seated with our seatbelts fastened afterall.
Mike Fook says
I’ve been bounced up to gently hit my head off the ceiling of the plane. Not a cool experience. It was surreal to see all those that didn’t have a seatbelt on in front of me fly to the ceiling too!
Have flown over from MSP about 20 times and been VERY lucky, I guess! Thanks for making us aware