Can an airplane slide in midair?

Is turbulence in an airplane dangerous?

Did you know? A third of all German passengers suffer from fear of flying. A slight sag is enough to panic those affected. And even for those passengers who are not afraid of flying, the heart slips if turbulence occurs through air holes during the flight. But is turbulence in an airplane really dangerous? THE FREQUENT TRAVELER investigated the question.

Most air travelers are familiar with this situation: the plane was just flying quietly in the sky and the next moment there is turbulence. The seatbelt signs light up, the flight attendants rush to their seats, the previous slight jerking becomes stronger and the machine suddenly sags - if air holes appear. First of all, the shock is deep.

How does turbulence arise?

However: First and foremost such turbulence is completely normal. They arise due to the most varied of conditions. If there is a thunderstorm, the clash of zones with rapidly rising warm air and falling cold air causes the turbulence. If the machine is closer to the ground, they can in turn occur as turbulence in the air is created by stormy winds caused by mountain ranges, forests and buildings.

And how dangerous is turbulence in an airplane?

Not at all, actually. Even in harsh weather conditions, no wing will tear off or the aviator will lie on its back, says Patrick Smith, who runs the website supervised. As a rule, the expert continues, pilots fly around airfields in which turbulence occurs, solely to make the flight more comfortable for passengers and to make them feel safe - but not because it poses a real danger. In short: turbulence in an airplane is not dangerous.

The decision to fly around is not necessarily an advantage from a different point of view. Because that costs time and - due to higher kerosene consumption - more money. From that point of view, it's a good thing if the pilot flies through turbulence instead of avoiding it. In the interests of the environment.

Turbulence in your head instead of on the plane? We know what really helps against fear of flying.