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Clear Air turbulence (CAT) is defined as sudden serious turbulence developing in cloudless areas that reasons violent buffeting the aircraft.This term is commonly applied to higher altitude turbulence connected with wind shear. The many comprehensive definition is high-altitude disturbance encountered outside of convective clouds. This includes turbulence in cirrus clouds, within and in the vicinity of standing lenticular clouds and, in part cases, in clean air in the vicinity that thunderstorms. Generally, though, CAT interpretations exclude turbulence resulted in by thunderstorms, low-altitude temperature inversions, thermals, strong surface winds, or local terrain attributes .

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There room two varieties of CAT:

Mechanical. Disruption come the smooth horizontal flow of air.

Common causes and sources of CAT are:


Structural Damage. Aircraft deserve to suffer structural damage as a result of encountering significant clear air turbulence. In extreme situations this have the right to lead come the split of the aircraft. In even moderate turbulence, damage can happen to fittings in ~ the aircraft, particularly as a result of collision with unrestrained items of cargo or passenger luggage. Lengthy exposure to turbulence will shorten the tiredness life of the aircraft.Impaired flight Crew Performance. moderate or significant turbulence can make straightforward tasks, including reading instruments, near impossible.


Restraint Systems. Passengers and crew must fit seat belts and also harnesses once seated to protect them in the event of unanticipated turbulence.


An plane descending for technique into Milan encounters center turbulence associated with a southerly air flow over the Alps. A member the the cabin crew checking the security of the cabin drops breaking an arm.


Slow down. reducing the aircraft rate reduces the threat of structural damage and also reduces vibration making instruments simpler to read.Strap in. inform the crew/illuminate chair belt sign. Every passengers and crew should immediately sit down and also fit seat belts/harnesses.Switch ~ above Engine Ignition - specific aircraft species recommend transforming ignition on to protect against the turbulent airflow from flaming out engines.Inform ATC. educate ATC/warn various other aircraft on chat or guard/emergency frequency (121.5 or 243.0). Request clearance to climb/descend or diverge from track to escape turbulence.Assess Damage/Injuries. lug out a damage assessment and also ascertain condition of any injured passengers. Think about precautionary diversion.Suspend Cabin Service.

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clearly the offer of warm drinks and meals throughout turbulent problems puts both cabin crew and also passengers in ~ risk.

Accidents and also Incidents

Clear Air turbulence encounter