How far do planes fall during turbulence – and where in the world is it most common?


Turbulence is the most common cause of injury to air passengers, and unsettles even the most frequent fliers – but is it really something to be afraid of? British Airways captain Steve Allright, and Patrick Smith, a US pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential, a book on air travel, explain.

What causes turbulence?

Steve Allright: Many different things may cause turbulence, but each and every one of them is known and understood by pilots. Every day I fly, I expect a small amount of turbulence, just as I’d expect the odd bump in the road on the drive to work. Turbulence is uncomfortable but not dangerous. It is part of flying, and is not to be feared.

Different aspects of the weather cause different…

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