During a flight from Luanda, Angola, to Lisbon, Portugal, last Thursday, the 23rd, passengers were having their meals when turbulence rocked the plane and threw cutlery, plates, food and drinks in all directions. The severe commotion left 10 wounded.
The captain predicted the turbulence and passengers received the alert about two hours after take-off. From Luanda to Portugal, the flight usually takes just over eight hours.
The episode took place on board the Hi Fly airline, serving TAAG Linhas Aéreas de Angola. The rampage did not last long, but the seconds of turbulence were enough to cause minor injuries to 10 passengers, who received medical attention immediately upon landing at Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon.
On Twitter, in a video posted by SIC Notícias, it is possible to see trays of meals in the aisle of the plane, where there are also pasta on the carpet, snacks on the floor and scattered glass bottles, which fell as the plane shook. The roof of the aircraft was also hit in the turbulence and a tray was caught between the upper tank.
In the tweet, dozens of netizens commented on the importance of wearing seat belts. One person wrote: “Imagine hitting your head several times between the ceiling and the floor.”
The episode is not isolated
Other similar cases, where there is severe turbulence, were recorded in March and have sparked discussions about flight safety and exposure.
According to aviation news portal Simple Flying, earlier this month, an Airbus A330-900 Condor flying from Frankfurt, Germany, to Mauritius, Africa, experienced turbulence about two hours before landing at its destination. The disturbances reportedly injured 20 of the 272 passengers. Furthermore, damage sustained during the accident left the aircraft on the ground in Mauritius for the next day, March 2, which was unusual since aircraft on this service tended to spend less than two hours on the ground to return to Frankfurt.
As a Condor Airbus A330-900 waited on the ground in Mauritius on the second day, seven of the 172 passengers on board were taken to hospital after a flight bound for Germany experienced severe turbulence. Lufthansa Flight 469 was en route from Austin, Texas, to Frankfurt, Germany, on Wednesday, the first, when it struck heavy turbulence over Tennessee, according to US television station NBC News.
One Twitter user claimed that his wife was one of the passengers on the Lufthansa flight. In his message, he wrote that the turbulence was a surprise and that the injured people were not wearing seat belts on the plane. As with the flight to Lisbon, passengers ate their meals during the turbulence. “There was food everywhere. The injured did not fasten their seat belts,” he said, noting that the plane descended a thousand feet and higher, equivalent to 304 meters.
Commissioners demand a ban on childbearing
Currently, most airlines allow children under two years of age to fly in the arms of their parents, without paying additional fees for travel within the national territory, and in the case of international travel, they pay a fee of between 10% and 15% of the ticket value for an adult.
Given recent episodes of severe turbulence, flight attendants have debated this topic and called for an update of safety rules, so that everyone, including children in arms, has their own seat on aircraft, as a measure to avoid the risk of severe injury in the event of turbulence and forced landings.
One organization that supports the single seat and seat belt is the AFA-CWA Flight Attendant Association, which represents 50,000 flight attendants on 19 airlines. According to The Washington Post, last week the association made the issue public at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Safety Summit in Virginia, US. The federation made the same recommendation in 2018. This procedure will have only one exception, in the case of newborn babies, who are not in a supine position.
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