The A330-343 Airbus aircraft landed safely at its original destination in Madrid's Barajas airport on Tuesday night after suffering a 15-second episode of clear-air turbulence that made the aircraft plummet a few hundred metres in the sky over Ethiopia.
In mid-July, 35 passengers onboard an Air Canada flight bound to Australia were injured due to clear-air turbulence, the most unpredictable type as it is invisible and nearly impossible to predict, posing a threat to aviation safety.
Turbulence severe enough to upend an airplane can arise from at least four distinct sources: thunderstorms, larger aircraft, mechanical interference from topography or buildings, and the unpredictable phantom of clear-air turbulence (CAT).
Atmospheric turbulence relevant to cruising aircraft in the upper troposphere-lower stratosphere (UTLS) is categorized into three different types based on their locations and generation mechanisms: clear-air turbulence (CAT), mountain-wave turbulence (MWT), and convectively induced turbulence (CIT; Fig.
German accident researcher Jan-Arwed Richter told dpa the flight by tourist air company Ju-Air may have encountered some dangerous clear-air turbulence. "Even under ideal weather conditions, dangers lurk in the mountains that can have very negative safety consequences for an aeroplane," said Richter, co-founder of the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre in Hamburg.