Severe Turbulence on Aeroflot Flight: Aviation Lawyer Expresses Concern At the Number of Passengers Injured

Friday, 5th May 2017

Aviation Lawyer and former RAF pilot urges prompt investigation of this Boeing 777 incident.

On 1 May 2017 a Boeing 777 aircraft operated by Aeroflot on a flight from Moscow to Bangkok encountered severe turbulence around 40 minutes prior to landing, injuring at least 27 passengers, some of whom suffered serious injuries. It is reported that the incident occurred as passengers were visiting the toilets in preparation for landing. The turbulence was so severe that passengers were thrown around the cabin and into the ceiling, causing broken limbs and a range of other injuries.

The Aviation Team at national law firm Ashfords LLP specialises in representing the victims of air accidents. Jim Morris, a former RAF pilot and Head of Aviation at Ashfords, has significant professional experience in flying large Boeing aircraft and has acted in air accidents involving severe turbulence, including a United Airlines Boeing 777 turbulence incident in May 2010.

Jim Morris commented: "Although in-flight turbulence is a common phenomenon, the severity of the turbulence and the number of passengers injured on this Aeroflot flight is very concerning. A number of factors can cause turbulence, including jet streams, weather fronts, thunderstorm clouds and sometimes the turbulence can happen in clear air with very little warning. For this incident, there needs to be an investigation to determine the full chain of events to identify whether it was an incident of un-detectable clear air turbulence or whether it would have been possible to detect and prepare for / avoid the turbulence. Some of the factors that should be considered include the nature of the turbulence, the weather forecasts for the area and if they contained any warnings of turbulence, if the turbulence was in the vicinity of a cloud system that could be detected on the weather radar, if there were reports from other aircraft of turbulence in the area, whether fasten seat belts signs were illuminated and whether a problem with the aircraft or its operation contributed to the nature and severity of the incident."

"This turbulence incident and its serious consequences is a stark warning for airliner crews to do all they can to detect and warn of turbulence in advance, and for passengers to be aware that there may be no warning of severe turbulence so they should remain seated with seat belts fastened whenever possible to minimise the risk of injury."

Key Contact

Jim Morris

Partner, Barrister and Head of Aviation

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+44 (0)20 7544 2403


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