If you’ve been on a flight, you’ve heard a flight attendant say that you should “please” keep your seatbelt fastened when you’re in your seat. Yet, as soon as that seatbelt light clings off, those belts come off as people hit the toilets, fetch gear from their bags, and stretch their legs a bit. The thing is, there’s a really, really good reason why the flight staff wants you to keep those belts on: unexpected turbulence.
Severe turbulence can come out of nowhere and literally fling you into the roof of the plane. That’s exactly what happened on an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Sydney yesterday. The plane was about two-hours east of Hawai’i when an unexpected bout of turbulence hit the flight and people hit the roof. 35 were injured; nine severely. The plane had to turn around and make an emergency landing back in Honolulu, where the injured were treated on the tarmac.
The Guardian reported eye-witness accounts from the plane. One passenger, Alex MacDonald, recounted the moment of chaos onboard. “I watched a whole bunch of people hit the ceiling of the plane. A couple of the air hostesses were bringing food out at the time, and they hit the roof as well.” According to CNN, screaming and confusion ensued as the oxygen masks deployed.
Look, we all get the need to get that belt off so you can move around. But, really, those flight attendants are telling you to keep it on for exactly this reason. Severe turbulence can really come out of nowhere. Our advice, maybe loosen your belt (a little) if you want extra breathing room. But, seriously, keep those belts fastened even when you’re just watching a movie or eating that plastic chicken and rice.
Otherwise, you’re going to be hitting the ceiling if things go sideways in the air.
(via The Guardian)