AIRCRAFT TURBULENCE – The science behind air turbulence causes and effects.

Navigating the Bumps: Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Air Turbulence

Young man is afraid to fly on an airplane and emotionally screams in fear. Panic attack and aerophobia. Accident during flight

Air turbulence is an unavoidable part of air travel. It can range from mild bumps to severe jolts that can make passengers feel like they are on a rollercoaster. While turbulence can be unsettling, it is generally not dangerous, as modern aircraft are built to withstand even the most severe turbulence. However, it can be uncomfortable and can cause anxiety in some passengers.

On the 1st of May 2023, passengers of AIR PEACE flight from Uyo to Lagos experienced severe turbulence. Speaking with an expert in Aviaton, I got explanation to the science behind aircraft turbulence, causes and effects on passengers and airline operators. In this article, we will explore tips and tricks for dealing with air turbulence and making your flight as comfortable as possible.

What Causes Air Turbulence?

Air turbulence is caused by a variety of factors, including weather conditions, jet streams, and air currents. The most common cause of turbulence is atmospheric instability, which occurs when there is a difference in temperature and pressure in the air. This instability can cause pockets of air to move up and down, creating turbulence.

Another common cause of turbulence is the jet stream, a fast-moving, narrow current of air in the upper atmosphere. When an aircraft crosses the jet stream, it can experience turbulence, as the difference in airspeed between the aircraft and the jet stream can cause turbulence.

White passenger airplane takes off during a thunderstorm of rain, bad weather

The Effects of Air Turbulence

Air turbulence can have a range of effects on passengers and crew. Mild turbulence may feel like a slight bump, while severe turbulence can cause objects to move around the cabin and make passengers feel like they are being tossed around. In addition to the physical effects, turbulence can also cause anxiety and stress in passengers, especially those who are nervous flyers.

Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Air Turbulence

  1. Choose the Right Seat

Choosing the right seat can make a big difference in how much turbulence you feel during a flight. Seats over the wings tend to experience less turbulence, as the wings act as stabilizers and help to absorb the bumps. Avoid seats at the back of the plane, as turbulence tends to be more severe there.

  1. Pay Attention to the Safety Briefing

The safety briefing before takeoff includes important information on how to prepare for and deal with turbulence. Pay attention to the instructions on fastening your seatbelt, and make sure it is snug and secure during the flight. If the seatbelt sign comes on, return to your seat and fasten your seatbelt immediately.

  1. Relax and Breathe

If you feel anxious or stressed during turbulence, try to relax and breathe deeply. Closing your eyes and focusing on your breath can help to calm your nerves and make the experience more bearable.

Relaxed mid adult business man sleeping in first class seat.
  1. Distract Yourself

Distraction can be a powerful tool for dealing with turbulence. Bring a book, magazine, or electronic device to keep yourself occupied during the flight. Listening to music or watching a movie can also help to take your mind off the turbulence.

Portrait of two business men reading newspaper in plane enjoying long business flight. Man in brown suit in airplane cabin holding newspaper.


Air turbulence is a common, albeit unsettling, part of air travel. By understanding the causes and effects of turbulence, and following these tips and tricks, you can make your flight more comfortable and enjoyable. Remember that turbulence is generally not dangerous, and that modern aircraft are built to withstand even the most severe turbulence. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.

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