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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