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Airplane Turbulence In The Area “Extremely Rare”, An Analysis

stock here: of course the turbulence was blamed on climate change!

I found this article that stands head and shoulder above the rest.


This accident has more than meets the poorly reported reports. Below article adds context.


1) plane was reported by passenger to be pitching upward rapidly followed by massive downward more that threw passengers and flight attendants to the ceiling

2) claim made that plane hit an “air pocket”

3) radar indicates a rapid descent from 37000 to 31000 in 3 minutes, and then one source chimed in to state “this was in preparation for landing”.    Standard decline rates for landing are 500FPM to 800 FPM and this was 2000.   Plus they were no where near their intended airport Singapore.

4) They landed in Bangkok after declaring medical emergency (apparently 72 YO Brit had a heart attack, with no claim as to whether this was before or after the 6000 ft drop)

Jet streams can cause severe turbulence, it does appear to be a factor by looking at the winds aloft at 250 hPA (pressure level usually associated with 34,000 feet)

Report below is discussion with AI, which can now receive images and files and use those for research and answering questions. 


Regarding the presence of the jet stream, the jet stream is typically found at altitudes between 30,000 and 39,000 feet, which aligns with the cruising altitude of the flight. The Bay of Bengal area can indeed be influenced by the jet stream, especially during the transitional seasons, when weather patterns are more volatile. This can lead to significant wind shear and turbulence​ (Weather Underground)​​ (Windmap)​​ (Metcheck.com)​.

The described turbulence, where passengers felt the plane initially shoot upward before plummeting, suggests an encounter with a significant vertical air movement, possibly within or near the jet stream. This type of turbulence can cause sudden and severe changes in altitude, consistent with the rapid descent observed. Additionally, the presence of strong updrafts and downdrafts in this region, exacerbated by the jet stream’s influence, could explain the extreme conditions experienced during the flight​ (Zoom Earth)​.

In summary, while a 2,000 FPM descent is not typical for a standard landing approach, it can occur under emergency conditions, particularly when dealing with severe turbulence influenced by the jet stream. The flight’s deviation to Bangkok for an emergency landing further underscores the severity of the situation.

what is the hPA equivalent to the jet stream


The jet stream is typically found at altitudes corresponding to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, generally between 30,000 to 39,000 feet. In terms of atmospheric pressure, this altitude range correlates with the 250 to 200 hPa pressure levels.

Here’s a breakdown of the approximate altitude-pressure relationships relevant to the jet stream:

    250 hPa: Approximately 34,000 feet

    200 hPa: Approximately 39,000 feet

These levels can vary slightly depending on atmospheric conditions and temperature profiles, but they provide a good general guide for understanding where the jet streams are located in terms of pressure levels​ (Weather Underground)​​ (Windmap)​​ (Zoom Earth)​.

this is the current jetstream at 250 hPA, near bangkok it does seem possible that was the cause as it appears the stream dips down around India


The jet stream map at the 250 hPa pressure level you provided indeed shows a notable dip near India, extending towards the Bay of Bengal region. This visual representation supports the possibility that the severe turbulence experienced by the British Airways flight could have been influenced by the jet stream’s presence in that area.

Key Points:

    Jet Stream Presence: The jet stream is visible dipping southward near India, which aligns with the flight path from London to Singapore passing through or near this turbulent region.

    Turbulence and Jet Streams: Jet streams can cause significant turbulence, especially when they create strong wind shear or when an aircraft flies through areas where different air masses meet. These conditions can result in abrupt altitude changes and severe turbulence.

    Flight Path: The flight path likely intersected with the jet stream, which could explain the sudden and severe turbulence reported by passengers and crew. The interaction with these high-velocity air currents could have caused the aircraft to experience rapid changes in altitude and speed.

    Impact on Flight: The encounter with the jet stream would have caused rapid vertical and horizontal wind changes, leading to the severe turbulence described by passengers, where the plane initially shot upward before plummeting. This type of turbulence can result in items and people being thrown around the cabin, causing injuries and necessitating an emergency landing.


The presence of the jet stream near the Bay of Bengal and its influence on the flight path supports the explanation that the severe turbulence experienced was likely caused by this atmospheric phenomenon. The rapid descent and the severe shaking experienced by the aircraft are consistent with the effects of flying through a turbulent jet stream region.

For further reading on jet streams and their impact on aviation, you can refer to resources such as the NOAA Jet Stream and Live Science.

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