Two injured in turbulence on Air China flight to Beijing

An Air China Airbus A330 in flight.
Photo Credit: N509FZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
3 Min Read

A domestic Air China flight from Shanghai to Beijing hit severe clear air turbulence on Monday July 10, injuring one passenger and one cabin crew member.

Air China flight CA1524 had departed from Shanghai (SHA) at approximately 3:25 PM local time on Monday and had carried out an uneventful flight until it struck the region of clear air turbulence approximately 40 minutes from the destination Beijing.

The flight, operated by an Airbus A330-300 registered B-5916, was carrying 153 passengers and 12 crew members when it encountered the turbulence at an altitude of about 35,000 feet.

The turbulence encountered was so severe that it caused the aircraft to drop several hundred feet, and passengers and crew were subsequently thrown around the cabin.

Passengers described a series of two sudden and unexpected drops, and photos and video footage subsequently shared on social media showed two passengers and a flight attendant caught by surprise and lifted off their feet in the sudden event.

Video via Twitter Ifeng News

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Passenger items such as pillows and reading material can be seen strewn on the cabin floor, indicating just how sudden the event was.

One passenger and one cabin crew member were subsequently taken to a Beijing hospital after sustaining injuries during the incident according to a spokesperson for the airline.

The flight landed safely in Xi’an at 5:18 PM local time. Air China said that the flight crew and cabin crew handled the situation according to procedures to ensure passenger safety.

Severe clear air turbulence is a rare but dangerous phenomenon. It can occur at any altitude, and it can be caused by a variety of factors, including thunderstorms, jet streams, and temperature inversions.

In another recently reported incident, several crew members were injured when a British airways schedule flight from Singapore to London encountered a patch of severe turbulence over the Bay of Bengal.

In that instance the aircraft diverted and returned to Singapore, rather than continue to its destination.

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