Aussie air routes among world’’s bumpiest

August 3rd, 2008 - 11:54 am ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Aug 3 (ANI): Air passengers travelling on the popular Australian routes experience a ” notoriously bumpy ride” due to turbulence.
Experts from University of Melbourne have zeroed in on some of the most popular and turbulent flight paths used by Australians.
According to the atmospheric researchers, the routes from Melbourne to Christchurch and Sydney to Los Angeles are among the most bumpiest air routes.
Turbulence expert Todd Lane said that the final stretch of the flight from Melbourne to Christchurch usually experienced turbulence due to the mountains surrounding the New Zealand city.
Another route flying over the Himalayas - as many flights from Australia to Europe do - was also a “common source” of turbulent activity, said Lane.
Passengers flying in Trans-Atlantic flights during winter also went through an extremely bumpy experience.
“There’’s almost twice as much turbulence experienced in the winter months than in summer … over Greenland,” News.com.au quoted him, as saying.
Even Pacific flights are not so comfortable. Frequent storms over the Pacific Ocean have also caused problems for pilots.
“The Pacific route between Australia and the US is another (hotspot for turbulence)… that occurs almost all year round,” said Lane.
He suggested that if anyone wanted to fly around the US during summer, they should do it in the morning, as storms predominately occurred in the afternoons (in the US),
“The US is terrible in the (northern) summertime because of storms,” he said.
According to the latest data released by Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), more than 150 turbulence-related injuries have been reported in the last decade.
“About a dozen in-flight turbulence injuries are reported in Australia each year to the ATSB, and many more go unreported. Some of these injuries are serious, and have resulted in broken bones and head injuries,” said the report.
Larry Cornman, a leading turbulence expert from the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research said no flight was immune to the phenomenon.
“Most commercial aircraft have on-board weather radars, so they typically avoid the ”main” parts of the thunderstorm; however, turbulence can occur in regions where the radar is not seeing much, but where there is visible cloud,” he said.
“Turbulence can also occur in the clear air on the sides and above rising thunderstorms … (and this) seems to be a source of some very severe encounters - especially at night, when the pilot does not have any visual clues,” he added. (ANI)

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