Turbulence! We all are familiar with this dreaded word! Aren’t we?Cause of anxiety of many fliers and the reason why many people avoid travelling by plane.
Let’s assume you have booked your flight tickets and have already confirmed your tour package. You are set for your trip and the one thing you wish for is a safe and comfortable trip to your destination, but instead you get a bumpy ride in the sky, and quickly your mood changes from excitement to that of worried or stressed. We know turbulences can be scary and it has created a sense of dread among many fliers but it is not life threatening and we are here to help you through turbulence, to make your future journeys stress free.
What is Turbulence?
The National Geographic website defines Turbulence as “chaotic and capricious eddies of air disturbed from the calmer state by several forces”. In simpler terms, whenever the air around your airplane changes, it causes the bumpy movement of the plane, and that is what we call Turbulence. It is very similar to what you experience when you drive on a bumpy pothole-ridden road.
Turbulence can be caused by various reasons, it may be caused by changes in the winds, or due to storms or jet streams, or even due to geographical terrains and man-made objects in and around the plane. Furthermore, even the change in weather or climate while on a long-distance flight can result in turbulence. Essentially, turbulence is unpredictable and cannot be avoided. It is a part of air travel!
It is quite possible that your friend or family members would have had different experiences of turbulence while being on the same route but at different times, some may have faced strong turbulence whereas others may have had a smooth ride. It is important to understand that there are different levels of intensity of turbulence, which depends on several conditions through which the path of your airplane lies. Broadly, there are 3 levels of turbulence and they are measured based on the movement of your plane.
Mild turbulence makes your flight bumpy on a minuscule level and you may only experience light tightness around your seatbelt and nothing else.
Moderate turbulence is a bit stronger, you may experience more tightness around your seatbelt and it is possible that any unsecure object may move or the luggage may fall off if the luggage cabin is not properly secured.
Severe turbulence will cause the altitude of the plane to change, and you may be violently moved in your seat and there is a possibility of momentary loss of control of the plane by the pilot, which is always taken care of.
Note that, this is just to make you aware of the technicalities and there is no reason to be anxious as turbulence at large is not a cause of any flight-related accident directly or indirectly.
Why you should not be afraid?
Even after a long history of safe flights across the world, many people are afraid of flying, and turbulence is the top reason for that. Sit back, relax and understand why turbulence is nothing to be afraid about.
It’s harmless: Almost every level of turbulence that can be experienced in an airplane is potentially harmless, and no, the plane won’t crash or break mid-air due to turbulence.
Low rate of injuries: You will not fall from your seat, nor will the overhead luggage cabin explode during turbulence. Most of the pilots try to avoid turbulence whenever possible, and most of them are of a mild or moderate level that generally lasts no more than a few minutes.
Pilots know their way out: Pilots try their level best to provide a smooth flying trip but turbulences are a part and parcel of flying. Whenever possible they will try to avoid bumpy moments but there will be times when the turbulences will be severe. In such circumstances, there is no need to panic. The Pilots are in full control of the aircraft and are well trained to handle all types of turbulences.
Know about clear air turbulence: It is one of the consequences of global warming and climate change. There is a possibility of injuries or objects moving here and there at times. But be assured that these are the rarest turbulence that most of the experienced pilots and frequent fliers have never experienced.
Pilots and cabin crew are highly trained and skilled: Always bear in mind that the pilots – who are flying the airplane and the crew – serving you drinks are highly trained to deal in such situations of turbulence and every other aspect of passenger safety. Trust and listen to them whenever your plane hits the turbulent winds and don’t let your fear get in the way of you enjoying your flight.
We may avoid the turbulence altogether soon: And lastly here’s some good news! Due to the constant upgradation of technologies and instruments, we may soon be able to avoid turbulence altogether in the near future. But till then, buckle up your seatbelts, keep calm and fly away fearlessly!
How to calm down your nerves?
The first and foremost thing to keep in mind is that you have to be calm and vigilant to all the advice given by the pilot and the crew during your flight. Apart from that, we are giving you a few tips that may be helpful to avoid any panic or anxiety during turbulence.
Seat choices: The best seat to experience minimum effect of that bumpy flight is in the front rows and near the wings of the plane. Doesn’t matter if turbulence can’t be avoided, at least its impact can be a bit less due to this.
Flight timings: The morning weather is clear and cool and that helps to avoid turbulence by a big chance, and thus booking the morning flight is best bet for you.
Entertainment: Almost every flight has an inflight entertainment system, or your mobile phone may serve the purpose for you, so keep yourself occupied in your favorite movie, music, or games.
Sharing is Caring: This millennial slogan is very useful in case you are worried about turbulence during your flight. Share your fear with the crew or co-passenger; they will try their best to calm you down whenever the turbulence hits your plane.
These methods are not exhaustive and there are many ore ways that will surely help you calm your nerves during those bumpy moments during the flight.
There is nothing wrong about being worried or anxious about turbulence while flying. It is a general fear of many fliers across the world. Long flight or short experiencing turbulence is common and is not at all harmful. The best way to ‘be cool’ about it is to not let your fear over power you. The more frequently you fly, the less worried you will be about it.
So, visit your loved ones or your favorite places with confidence, and enjoy flying in the air in a beasty vehicle, without worrying about turbulence.