Image courtesy of Aeroflot
You just sat down in your seat on the plane. As you get settled, you squirm a bit to get comfy, get out your book, or electronic device and you are good to go. Oh wait, here's the announcement from the deck, "Please fasten your seat belts." The flight attendants come through the cabin and do that little spot check with their eyes and catch a few offenders. Begrudgingly, they buckle up.
Finally the captain turns off the seat belt notice and you feel free, well as free as you can in the plane. You grab your book or device, put headphones on and wonder when your beverage will arrive. Meanwhile, the cabin crew advises you keep your belt fastened while you are sitting in the event of sudden turbulence. 'Forget about it' you think to yourself. 'I don't need no stinkin' seat belt. What's going to happen?'
This week, passengers on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow bound to Thailand learned the important lesson of sudden turbulence. The flight departed Moscow filled with passengers ready to enjoy some holiday time in Thailand. The flight was smooth and captain made no announcements about turbulent weather ahead. Unfortunately, just as we don't expect to be in a car accident, we don't expect a bumpy ride in the sky. Before you know it, and sometimes before the pilot knows it, the aircraft comes into an air pocket or sudden turbulence. By the time it happens, it's too late to buckle up.
The moment you are jostled out of your seat, you become not only a liability to yourself, but also to others on the flight. As you are thrown around, your body will come into contact with your seatmates around you. Even if they are safely buckled in, you have the propensity to become a fly object. When you land, chances are you will fall on another passenger injuring them as well.
Image courtesy of passenger on Aeroflot/CNN
According to reports the turbulence only lasted about 10 seconds, but was severe enough to eject passengers from their seats. On this particular flight, 27 injuries were reported. They in ranged from bumps and bruises to fractured limbs. One passenger reported 'it was like being in a washing machine.' Another passenger took a photo of blood on the overhead compartment where a passenger's head came into contact. Not a great way to being your vacation.
Perhaps on your next flight if you are not in the habit of securing your seat belt this will change your mind. If you don't think anything can happen to you, please be considerate of your fellow passengers.