Qatar Airways

12 Injured as Qatar Airways Flight Hits Turbulence Over Turkey

Twelve people on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Ireland were injured during turbulence, Dublin Airport reported on Sunday. Despite the incident, the plane landed safely and on schedule.

Flight QR017, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, landed at Dublin Airport shortly before 1 p.m. local time (1200 GMT). The airport stated that emergency services, including Airport Police and the Fire and Rescue department, met the aircraft upon landing.

The turbulence occurred while the plane was over Turkey. Six passengers and six crew members reported injuries. The incident happened during the food and drinks service and lasted less than 20 seconds, according to Irish broadcaster RTE.

Qatar Airways confirmed that a small number of passengers and crew sustained minor injuries and were receiving medical attention. The airline also mentioned that the incident is under internal investigation.

This turbulence incident occurred a day after a similar event on a domestic Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Izmir, which injured a flight crew, and five days after a similar event on a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore. That flight was forced to land in Bangkok due to severe turbulence, resulting in the death of a 73-year-old British man and injuries to 20 others.

What is Turbulence and Why It Happens

Turbulence is the irregular motion of air that causes an aircraft to experience sudden and unpredictable movements. It occurs when there are disruptions in the airflow, which can be caused by various factors. These include:

  • Weather Conditions: Thunderstorms, strong winds, and jet streams can create turbulence. These weather patterns disturb the smooth flow of air, leading to turbulent conditions.
  • Air Pressure: Differences in air pressure, especially at high altitudes, can cause turbulence. Air moving from high-pressure to low-pressure areas can become turbulent.
  • Geographical Features: Mountains and other landforms can disrupt airflow, leading to turbulence. As air flows over mountains, it can create waves and eddies that result in turbulent conditions.
  • Wake Turbulence: This type occurs when an aircraft flies through the wake of another aircraft, particularly large jets, which can create strong vortices in the air.

While turbulence can be unsettling, it is the most common type of airline accident in aviation, according to a 2021 study by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

From 2009 through 2018, the US agency found that turbulence accounted for more than a third of reported airline accidents and most resulted in one or more serious injuries, but no aircraft damage.

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