Lewis W. Diuguid

Flight turbulence, injuries investigated

Updated: 2014-02-19T23:48:04Z

By Lewis W. Diuguid

The Kansas City Star

The friendly skies aren’t so kind or gentle to air travelers nowadays.

It is not uncommon for people who fly frequently to encounter turbulence on passenger planes. Pilots often try to climb above the rough air.

But sometimes even that doesn’t work, and people on the planes just have to buckle in, grit their teeth, pray and bear it. Severe turbulence hit a United Airlines flight on Monday as it was headed into Billings, Mont.

It caused the Boeing 737 plane to lurch for “30 seconds into violent, jarring cuts and dramatic drops,” the Billings Gazette reports.

Five people of the 100 persons on board were taken to the hospital for injures on Flight 1676. Drinks had just been served.

The turbulence started about 55 minutes after the flight left Denver. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

The turbulence problem could be connected to climate change because of the increased moisture in the atmosphere from the melting polar ice caps caused by the continued burning of fossil fuels. It only makes sense that if people on the ground are slipping and sliding because of the overabundance of snow and ice or sweltering during the summer that folks at higher elevations in planes also are getting shaken up by the radical weather the planet has been undergoing because of man-made activity.

To reach Lewis W. Diuguid, call 816-234-4723 or send email to ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

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