What Causes Turbulence?
Air passengers are all too familiar with minor to moderate turbulence which happens often during flight. However, when turbulence is severe, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Turbulence can be caused by a number of different conditions, including cold or warm weather fronts, atmospheric pressure, thunderstorms, jet streams or the air around mountains. This is not to say that turbulence is only associated with these weather conditions; on the contrary, turbulence can happen when the weather conditions appear to be clear.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), turbulence is the most common cause of injury to flight attendants and passengers in nonfatal commercial airline accidents. U.S. air carriers reported 234 turbulence incidents between 1980 and 2008, which resulted in three deaths and 298 serious injuries. Of the serious injuries, 184 were flight attendants and 114 were passengers.
Could the JetBlue Flight 429 Pilots Have Flown Around the Turbulence?
According to CNN, JetBlue Flight 429 encountered heavy thunderstorms over the central part South Dakota. The plane passed through one system, only to encounter a second. The JetBlue pilots decided to fly over or around the second thunderstorm. Per the CNN report, the turbulence was probably caused by one or both of the storms.
“Air travelers can reasonably expect to contend with some turbulence when flying. What they shouldn’t have to contend with is severe turbulence caused by thunderstorms that were visible from both radar and the cockpit. Did JetBlue receive warnings from federal agencies about these thunderstorms and choose to push through anyway? We’ll have to wait and see how the investigation shakes out.”
Brandon Miller of CNN’s World Weather team said that while some turbulence cannot be detected by radar, the JetBlue turbulence was “not that kind.” This turbulence, according to Miller, was caused by the rapid rising of air within the thunderstorms.
“You can see thunderstorms, both from the cockpit and on radar,” Miller says. “Pilots know there is turbulence in the storms and do their best to fly around or over them. Although they tried, they could not do that in this situation.”
Inflight Injury and Turbulence Lawsuit
With so many people flying across the world every day, it is important to know your rights if you are injured during an inflight emergency. Victims of commercial airline turbulence will have to sort through a tangle set legal issues in order to find out whether or not they are entitled to compensation for their injuries. Having an experienced aviation personal injury lawyer can help.
The law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman has a long track record of success handling airline injury cases. Our firm has litigated against many of the largest airlines in the world, doing our best to secure maximum compensation for our clients. We have extensive experience handling inflight emergency and turbulence cases.
Baum Hedlund is currently representing 29 passengers who were injured in the JetBlue Flight 1416 inflight emergency, which occurred on September 18, 2014. The pilots of JetBlue Flight 1416 were forced to make an emergency landing in Long Beach, California when an engine fire caused the passenger cabin to fill with smoke.
In the last decade, in addition to the JetBlue Flight 1416 case, our firm has represented the victims of the following inflight emergencies:
- US Airways Flight 797 – November 8, 2011 – Inflight Incident
- Southwest Airlines Flight 812 – April 1, 2011 – Inflight Fuselage Rupture
- US Airways Flight 583 – February 24, 2011 – Inflight Incident (Depressurization)
- United Airlines Flight 967 – July 20, 2010 – Inflight Turbulence
- United Airlines Flight 1028 – January 21, 2008 – Inflight Turbulence
If you’d like to speak to a Baum Hedlund attorney about your claim, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-827-0087.