20 Injured in Two Severe Turbulence Incidents

Not a great weekend for bumps and jolts in the air; a total of 20 people were injured over the weekend, some during a JetBlue flight and others aboard a Lufthansa plane. Both jetliners wound up at Boston’s Logan International.

JetBlue Turbulence Injures 9

The first incident occurred Sunday during a JetBlue flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Boston; upon landing at nearly 10pm, most of the nine who were injured complained of back and neck injuries, while another victim also suffered from a “severe coffee burn”. Fortunately none of these people had to be hospitalized. However, the evening’s next turbulence incident was more serious.

Lufthansa Turbulence Injures 11

About 90 minutes after the JetBlue flight landed, a Lufthansa plane departing from Charlotte to Munich diverted to Boston after turbulence injured 11 people on board; at least three of these individuals were transported to area hospitals. The plane continued on its way about an hour and a half later and landed safely in Germany.

What You Can Do about Turbulence

As the FAA describes this sometimes extremely violent atmospheric condition, “Turbulence is air movement that normally cannot be seen and often occurs unexpectedly.” Key word here is unexpectedly. In other words, there is one important thing you can do to protect yourself from turbulence on a plane:

  • When you are seated, be sure your seat belt is buckled.

Smart tip: Avoid aimless wandering on a plane; there are exercises you can do that will help you feel better without leaving your seat.

Most Likely Victims of Turbulence

Think about it; who is walking around when the rest of us are seated? That’s right, flight attendants and not surprisingly, they are most often victims of turbulence. According to the FAA, out of nearly 300 serious turbulence injuries from 1980 to 2008, 184 of those were suffered by flight attendants.

When flight attendants say “sit”, please sit. And buckle up. And if you’ve ever been in a particularly scary turbulence incident, we’d like to hear how you coped.


Published: October 3, 2011