Skip to comments.United Airlines Plane Hits Violent Turbulence, Leaves 1 in Critical Condition
Posted on 02/17/2014 8:29:59 PM PST by NYer
This plane is similar to the aircraft that hit a pocket of violent turbulence enroute from Denver, Colo. to Billings, Mont. on February 17, 2013.
A United Airlines flight on its way to Billings, MO encountered severe turbulence on its descent, injuring three crew members and several passengers. The Boeing 737 carrying 114 passengers departed from Denver at 11:57 a.m. on Monday and landed at 1:23 p.m.
Several people were rushed to area hospitals.
At least one person remains in critical condition while 5 have been treated and released.
"At the time of the incident, skies over the Intermountain West were partly cloudy but winds were howling over southern Montana and northern Wyoming," said weather.com meteorologist Alan Raymond. "The plane likely encountered what's known as "clear air turbulence" which is hard to pick up on the aircraft's on-board radar."
(MORE: Pilots Who Landed at Wrong Airport Confused by Lights)
The Weather Channel spoke with one passenger who had a terrifying experience onboard. Ejay Oldbull was seated in the back of the plane but had a front row seat to the incident. Oldbull, a frequent flier, said he hadn't ever felt turbulence like this before.
"At first the turbulence was like a jarring up and down, but when we started going left to right that's when I knew something was wrong," he said.
Oldbull says the pitching and yawing of the plane caused the oxygen masks to drop, and sent the unbuckled passenger beside him to the floor to the ceiling. "She just started going up and down when we dropped."
Also caught in the fray, a flight attendant that Oldbull says he could hear "flying around in the back of the cabin."
(MORE: Plane Gets Stuck in the Snow in Kansas City)
As the plane leveled out, Oldbull said people were visibly shaken. He heard one man ask, "Where's my my baby?" Luckily, the baby was safe in his mother's arms.
Oldbull and other passengers, one of whom was a nurse, attended to injured passengers and flight attendants through the remainder of the flight.
Injures from clear air turbulence aren't all that common, but it's a reminder to stay buckled up for the duration of your flight.
“stay buckled up for the duration of your flight”
I always go over them in the SPRING or SUMMER. No reason for me to try it any other time. I couldn't IMAGINE the experience during a good old fashioned winter storm. Yikes!
A good time to holler out “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE.”
The flight will have olive juice and vermouth so passengers can make their own martinis.
Must’ve been a... nasty experience for anybody in the lavatories.
Bumpy ride ping
Oy. And purchase a seat with a seatbelt for the kiddo.
Seat Belts are not just a good idea.
Yes. Always turbulence going over the Rockies.
This reminds me of a news story about a flight between somewhere in CA and Hawaii maybe ten years ago. The turbulence caused flight attendants and some passengers to hit their heads on the ceiling of the plane causing serious neck/head/other injuries.
I fly a decent amount, and ever since that story I really pay attention to buckling up even more than before.
Bang Ding Ow.
Odds are the people who were injured were not taking proper precautions.
On a trip back from Florida had to go over the mountain range to Pa....in a Cargo Plane no less! The noise alone was enough to give you a headache! But the turbulence took me for a ride I won’t ever forget!
Thank you for choosing United and we hope you’ll choose United again the next time you travel.
Fortunately there were no Moslems aboard.
I was on a plane that landed so hard that some of the oxygen masks came down along with a couple of ceiling panels, but nothing like that from turbulence.
I notice on Flightaware that commercial airliners avoid moderate to heavy precipitation when they can. For this particular flight there was no precipitation along the route.
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