Pilot Reveals When It's Appropriate To Worry About Turbulence
Aviaphobia, or as it's more commonly known, the fear of flying, is a burden that make the start of any holiday a sweaty palmed nightmare for many of us. Even those who are made of sterner stuff and don't mind flying, can find the jerking and shaking of turbulence disturbing, but for the vast majority of cases it's an absolutely harmless necessity that should cause no concern.
"Despite looking scary, this is in fact incredibly safe"
Statistically speaking, planes are one of the safest mode of transports and is up to 20x safer than being in a car. The real reason behind turbulence the majority of the time is a change in air pressure outside of the plane. A change in pressure leads to some rocking but won't cause anything to plummet from the sky.
Planes are extremely robust, and design to withstand an exorbitant amount of G pressure both negative and positive. So when should you be concerned with good cause?
According to a pilot in an excerpt from the express.co.uk he explains:
“Turbulence is an aggravating nuisance for everybody, including the crew, but it’s also, for lack of a better term, normal. From a pilot’s perspective it is ordinarily seen as a convenience issue, not a safety issue.
“Planes themselves are engineered to take a remarkable amount of punishment, and they have to meet stress limits for both positive and negative G-loads.
“They can withstand an extreme amount of stress, and the level of turbulence required to dislodge an engine or cause structural damage is something even the most frequent flyer — or pilot for that matter — won’t experience in a lifetime of traveling.”
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The truth is no amount of turbulence should be cause for concern from passengers. Extreme turbulence is rare, but can be unsettling. That doesn't mean it is dangerous so to speak, it is just more alarming on the surface.
A plane falling out of the sky is not turbulence, if you are nosediving towards the ground that is of course genuinely petrifying. However, the likelihood of that happening are almost as likely as you sprouting wings and flying to safety anyway.
It's our minds that project the scariest possibilities that turn turbulence into a horror show. Most people would happily sit in a Ferrari and tear around a race course track with 5x the amount of G-Force without batting an eyelid.
It's the stories we tell ourselves that concern us in regards to turbulence, not the actual danger it represents.
I know that might sound trite but it's true none the less.
If you're not feeling ready for a flight yet with all the difficulties surrounding international travel at the minute, then check out some of the coolest domestic hot-spots where you can unwind and de-stress instead.