One recent flight departing from Chicago’s Midway Airport arrived at its destination, but not before an incident of turbulence caused flight attendants to suffer injuries. This latest example of the potential dangers that flight attendants face in the air is something that could become more common if some scientists are correct. According to reports in nature.com and CNN.com, climate change may be fueling more turbulent air and could well create a future in which these incidents of “clear-air turbulence” happen more often and occur with greater severity. Due to the requirements of their jobs, this could pose a particularly high risk for flight attendants. Whenever you’ve suffered a midair injury, it is important that you talk to an Illinois plane accident attorney right away to protect your rights.
That recent flight was a relatively short one – a Southwest Airlines flight going only to Minneapolis-St. Paul. The flight encountered unexpected turbulence at some point along the path. Although the airline did not disclose to the media which duties the cabin crew was performing when the turbulence struck, the turbulence injured three flight attendants and no passengers.
Some of these instances of unexpected severe turbulence are events known as “clear-air turbulence.” This is a type of turbulence, as a meteorologist explained in a KARE TV report on the Southwest flight, “where air is moving aloft. You can’t see it because there isn’t a cloud developing.” Clear-air turbulence is difficult for both pilots and meteorologists to identify. Without something visible or measurements they can identify, pilots often cannot anticipate clear-air turbulence until it happens. Without visible indicators like clouds, meteorologists often cannot predict it either. Meteorologists have computer models, but those only give them a general idea, according to the KARE report.