How Dangerous Is Turbulence?

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Information about How Dangerous Is Turbulence?

Published on February 4, 2014

Author: PhooeyToFear



Lots of people have a fear of turbulence, but how dangerous is it really? In this document Neil Shearing, Ph.D. explains about what causes turbulence and how it affects the plane to reassure anyone with mild flight anxiety that turbulence is safe.

How Dangerous Is Turbulence? Presentation by Neil Shearing, Ph.D.

Turbulence Is A Big Concern People worry about turbulence... a lot! Either think plane is going to fall apart or stop flying To overcome the fear associated with turbulence, have to understand planes and flight mechanics. People don't learn these things, so fear persists.

Anxiety vs Phobia Note: Education helps anxieties and mild fears, not phobias which are extreme irrational fears.

Causes Of Turbulence Turbulence is caused by storms, which are avoided by flying around them, not landing or not taking off.

Causes Of Turbulence Turbulence is caused by planes taking off and landing, so they're spaced out.

Causes Of Turbulence Turbulence is caused by the sun heating the land, but it's usually mild. This turbulence is encountered at take off and landing.

Causes Of Turbulence Turbulence is caused by jet streams high up in the atmosphere. Planes make use of the jet stream to travel faster while in it. May encounter turbulence crossing into and out of the jet stream.

Turbulence: Physical Danger There is almost zero change of turbulence shaking apart a modern commercial airliner. No modern commercial airliner has crashed solely due to turbulence. Modern commercial airliners are able to withstand forces 150% more than ever expected to encounter.

Turbulence: Physical Danger Plane cannot be “shocked” out of the sky by turbulence. As long as the engines are providing thrust, air flows over the wings providing lift and the plane stays airborne. If thrust stops, the plane can glide for a long time. A 747-200 has a glide ratio of 15:1. From 37,000 feet up, it can glide for 80-100 miles!

Turbulence: Physical Danger Actual physical danger from turbulence is injuries from being thrown around. Most injuries are to flight crew. Most passenger injuries are to those not wearing seat belts. Keep seat belt fastened at all times when seated.

More Information FAA: Fact Sheet – Turbulence Phooey To Fear Website: Fear of Turbulence Kindle Book:

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