Severe turbulence is one of those things that cause some people’s fear of flying. For many individuals, encountering turbulence is a challenging aspect of flying. As turbulence typically causes an aircraft to move erratically, it can be daunting and even frightening to experience turbulence, especially for the first time. The good news is that you are more likely safer than you think when turbulence occurs.
Airplanes pass through turbulence all day. At cruising altitudes, it is quite unheard of to hear that an airplane has crashed as a result of turbulence. Since planes are designed and built to stay in the air, you can trust that they can also withstand the amount of force caused by turbulence. Despite the discomfort it may cause, turbulence is essentially just a rough condition caused by winds, proximity to the mountains and a range of other factors.
How to handle flight turbulence
Turbulence is rarely serious in many cases. Even the most severe cases hardly ever end up in a disaster because pilots are skilled and trained to handle air turbulence and they know exactly what to do to maneuver the plane through the roughest patches. In all except the most severe cases, you can maintain air safety simply by wearing your seatbelt and trying to remain in your seat for as long as you can during the flight. Other tips for handling turbulence include:
- Keep your cool if you do encounter turbulence. Consider going to your happy place or practicing some deep breathing techniques to relax you. Tension and anxiety will not do much to ease your fears so follow any instructions given by the attendants or pilots and you should be fine.
- Use the bathroom before takeoff especially if it is a short journey. Using it beforehand will reduce your chances of using it later on.
- If you have to get up, limit your movement to the necessary routes such as traveling to the bathroom. Wandering around the plane for whatever reason can put you at risk if turbulence occurs unexpectedly.
- Try and look for a seat that is located at the center of the plane. Turbulence is characteristically felt more on the tail end and is the least stressful around the wings.
- Ensure that you stow away your luggage safely, which also implies that you should ensure the overhead compartment latches. If the latch is loose, the luggage could break free and cause some serious injuries.
- Make sure that you wear your seatbelt correctly. If you are not sure about the fit, ask your flight attendant for help. That’s what they are there for after all.