Over the weekend, an American Airlines flight coming from Athens, Greece, hit severe turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean 30 minutes prior to landing at Philadelphia International Airport. Ten people out of the almost 300 onboard were injured and taken to the hospital after the plane landed safely.
Frightened passengers documented the aftermath of the turbulence on their smart phones, showing trashed aisles and Coke and coffee dripping from the ceiling:
NBC News coverage included a dramatic narration of “drinks on the ceiling” and an interview with a passenger who had “never experienced” anything like it before.
“When a plane goes down, this is what it feels like,” the passenger said.
Most of the injured included flight attendants who were up serving drinks. The International Business Times reported seven crew members and three passengers were injured during the “big drop.” Passengers said the turbulence lasted for 15 seconds and that there were babies crying afterward.
So, what caused this turbulence that even the pilot said was completely unexpected?
Global warming, according to NBC News:
“The wild ride just the latest example of extreme weather affecting passenger planes.”
The report recalled several recent accounts of bad turbulence with at least one due to a “weather event” between Panama City and Houston. Climate change is “part of the reason we might be seeing an increase in rough air,” the report added, citing its “experts” at Advances in Atmospheric Sciences who say the jet stream is “shifting” and “increasing the risk” of turbulence.
A University of Colorado Oceans and Climate Lab scientist was interviewed, claiming an increase of 25% in how strong turbulence “will feel” and a doubling of frequency of rough rides due to global warming.
And all it took was a little soda on the ceiling and a few bumps on the noggin to pimp the hysteria. Good job, NBC.