These Are the Top 10 Most Turbulent Flights in the World

These Are the Top 10 Most Turbulent Flights in the World

The turbulence forecasting company Turbli evaluated 150,000 flights worldwide and ranked them. Here are the most turbulent ones.

This revelation comes after a dramatic incident on a flight from London to Singapore, where severe turbulence resulted in one fatality and 30 injuries. The Boeing 777-300 ER, operated by Singapore Airlines, encountered severe turbulence mid-flight, impacting its 211 passengers and 18 crew members.

What Is Turbulence?

Before diving into the most turbulent routes, it's essential to understand what turbulence is. According to the United States Weather Service, turbulence involves irregular air movements caused by eddies and vertical air currents. The impact of turbulence can range from minor bumps to severe jolts that can momentarily cause an aircraft to lose control or even suffer structural damage.

Turbulence is classified based on its intensity:

  1. Light Turbulence: Causes slight changes in altitude and attitude, leading to minor bumps. Passengers might feel a slight tension in their seat belts.
  2. Moderate Turbulence: More intense, causing more noticeable bumps. Unsecured objects may move, and passengers will feel a definite strain against their seat belts.
  3. Severe Turbulence: Causes significant and abrupt changes in altitude and attitude. The aircraft might lose control briefly, and passengers are violently pushed against their seat belts.
  4. Extreme Turbulence: The plane shakes violently and is almost impossible to control, potentially leading to structural damage.

What Are The Most Turbulent Flights Globally

Turbli, a data analysis company, evaluated 150,000 flights worldwide, using the eddy dissipation rate (EDR) to measure turbulence intensity. EDR rates are classified into light (0-20), moderate (20-40), severe (40-80), and extreme (80-100). Based on these evaluations, the following flights were identified as the most turbulent:

  1. Santiago, Chile to Santa Cruz, Bolivia: Operated by Latam, this route tops the list, categorized under light turbulence with an EDR rating of 17.57.
  2. Almaty, Kazakhstan to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 
  3. Lanzhou to Chengdu, China 
  4. Centrair to Sendai, Japan 
  5. Milan, Italy to Geneva, Switzerland 
  6. Lanzhou to Xianyang, China 
  7. Osaka to Sendai, Japan 
  8. Xianyang to Chengdu, China
  9. Xianyang to Chongqing, China
  10. Milan, Italy to Zurich, Switzerland

The flight between Santiago and Santa Cruz not only ranks highest on this list but also demonstrates the wide geographical distribution of turbulence-prone routes. These routes span different continents, showcasing that turbulence is a global phenomenon affecting various airlines and regions.

Safety Tips for Passengers

While turbulence is a routine part of flying, it's important to follow certain safety measures to minimize risks:

  • Always wear your seat belt: Even when the seat belt sign is off, keeping your seat belt fastened can prevent injuries during unexpected turbulence.
  • Secure your belongings: Ensure that all carry-on items are stowed properly to avoid them becoming projectiles during turbulent conditions.
  • Follow crew instructions: Pay attention to safety briefings and instructions from the flight crew, as they are trained to handle turbulence-related situations.

Flying is generally safe, and turbulence, while sometimes frightening, is a normal part of air travel. By taking simple precautions and staying informed, you can navigate these bumpy skies with greater confidence and peace of mind.