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Home > Air Turbulence > Encountering turbulence - will a Jumbo drop 500 to1000 feet?
Encountering turbulence - will a Jumbo drop 500 to1000 feet?
Weather - Air Turbulence
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 21:05

Hello Capt Lim,

I have one fear when it comes to flying. Encountering turbulence and the plane dropping 500 to1000 feet all of a sudden. Is this very possible for a jumbo jet? How likely is this?

Chris Dunn,
SFG International

Hi Chris,

It is not very possible for a Jumbo jet to drop 500 -1000 feet suddenly. For example, when a Boeing 747 is cruising at 35,000 feet, it is usually controlled by an autopilot. It maintains the height very accurately, even in turbulence. In all my life of flying (about 20,000 hours now), I have yet to experience a turbulence that had caused my airplane to drop anything like the altitude you described. Yes, I have experienced severe turbulence but it was only for a very short duration for I would make every effort to get out of it.

I have read that it is possible to be caught in an up or downdraft, producing quite great drop in altitude. That could only be encountered inside a very severe thunderstorm. No sane pilot will ever fly intentionally inside such severe weather condition! My answer is that, it is very unlikely for you to encounter this in your normal air travel.

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Thanks, It helps to share the knpwledge with elderly.
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