17:41 22 April 2016
An airline pilot, Patrick Smith, the author of Cockpit Confidential, shares everything you need to know about turbulence.
· Pilots consider it normal and do not worry about it. Patrick explains: "Turbulence is an aggravating nuisance for everybody, including the crew, but it’s also, for lack of a better term, normal." He added that for pilots, turbulence is more of a “convenience issue” than a safety concern. He added: "The pilots aren't worried about the wings falling off; they’re trying to keep their customers relaxed and everybody’s coffee where it belongs."
Turbulence does not cause plane crash. "It's easy to picture the airplane as a helpless dinghy in a stormy sea. Everything about it seems dangerous. Except that, in all but the rarest circumstances, it's not."
"For all intents and purposes, a plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket.
"Conditions might be annoying and uncomfortable, but the plane is not going to crash.
· Pilots can predict turbulence using a number of ways – from weather charts to radar. Patrick said that flying over mountain ranges or jet stream boundaries could also create a bumpy ride.
So, next time you’re on the plane and experience turbulence, keep Patrick’s words in mind and remember that pilots are more worried about your coffee spilling than crashing the plane.