The Fear of Turbulence

This is the big one... The dreaded 'T' word. But, turbulence is misunderstood thanks to over-dramatised movie scenes, and inaccurate media reporting. Find out what turbulence really is, and why it is not anything to be worried about.

Tom Bunn Video on Turbulence

This is just a quick video from Tom Bunn (who runs the SOAR fear of flying course) on the fear of turbulence. It includes a great description of what turbulence is, and also mentions why you don't tend to hear pilots reassure you very often when we enter turbulent air..... they just don't understand that some people might be afraid of it! FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SOAR HERE … [Read more...]

Video: Is Flying Safe – Turbulence Explored

I've just uploaded a new video to YouTube of the moderate turbulence I encountered today at work. I'd love to hear your thoughts.... Please post your comments below or on YouTube, and please feel free to suggest some other subjects I could use for future videos. Press play to watch the video below; … [Read more...]

The Fear of Turbulence: Video of Turbulence on easyJet Flight to Milan (MXP)

Hello fearful flyers, just a quick video for you today to show how little the aircraft actually moves during turbulent conditions. I managed to capture this video on a recent flight as a passenger. It shows a view of turbulence from a passenger window over the wing. You will see the wing moving around slightly, but the aircraft barely moves at all. However, this particular part of the flight was actually quite bumpy. Just as I have said before, it always feels like the aircraft is moving around more than it is, and this video proves it! Is this the worst turbulence I have ever experienced... No. But it still shows how little the aircraft moves around, despite it feeling otherwise. Anyway, here is the video. Just click play to view; … [Read more...]

How Does Hot Weather Cause Turbulence?

As the summer is pretty much upon us now, it is a good time to discuss a certain form of turbulence that will be common over the next few months. Often you will experience turbulence just after take-off and/or before landing despite it being a clear sunny day, with no clouds. So, why? What causes this 'bumpy air'? When the above happens, you are most likely experiencing what is usually called 'convective turbulence'. As shown in the simple diagram on the left, the sun heats the earth's surface  leading to the air at lower altitudes to rise (warm air rises as I'm sure you already knew). As the air rises above a certain level it cools down and begins to fall again. As a result, the air at lower altitudes is moving in different directions … [Read more...]

Fear of Flying: An Email About Turbulence

I receive many emails from readers regarding the fear of flying. Many of them follow the same theme though, and this one that I received yesterday is relatively typical. I thought it would be helpful to post the email and my response here for all to see. Obviously names are left out. … [Read more...]

Media Reports of Continental Flight 128: Severe Turbulence

Ok, as I have said over and over again here, turbulence is not dangerous as long as you are following the guidelines and have your seatbelt fastened. Media reports - once again - are misleading. It is amazing to see the level to which they twist words and headlines to make the event seem more dramatic than it was. Continental Flight 128 hit severe turbulence which has … [Read more...]

Dealing With Turbulence Anxiety

When there is anxiety about the uncertain outcome of some event, we naturally seek some means of control, so that the matter works out to our benefit. When seeking control as the means of securing a good result, anything that seems to defy control can feel threatening. That seems to be a factor in fear of turbulence. It seems, to the anxious flier, that turbulence is out of control and could throw the plane out of control. No. Turbulence is not out of control, nor can it throw an airliner out of control. Turbulence is … [Read more...]

Fear of Flying: Turbulence

Many nervous flyers will be scared of turbulence. But, truth be told, turbulence is nothing to worry about. In fact, turbulence is a mere annoyance to us flight attendants as it always seems to start when we are trying to drink coffee or fill out paperwork! What is Turbulence? Flight attendants call turbulence 'bumpy air' as this seems the most simple explanation. If you compare flying to being on a boat, you'll find many similarities. The water can be calm, and you get a smooth ride. But, if the wind becomes stronger the water will be moved around and the boat will move around with it. When it comes to flying, it's very much the same. Clear Air Turbulence normally occurs when we cross over a weather front (known as a jetstream). If you … [Read more...]