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Home > Air Turbulence > Will a flight operate in moderate to severe turbulence?
Will a flight operate in moderate to severe turbulence?
Weather - Air Turbulence
Friday, 30 December 2005 22:34

Dear Captain Lim,

Your website is excellent - you have really eased my fear of flying. I had a flight last week when the Captain warned us that it would be "pretty bumpy" - and I was able to do fine. I know from the description of turbulence - that it would be "light" with a minute or two of "moderate."

My question is this: Will a flight operate for an hour or more continuously in moderate to severe turbulence? I understand that a flight will deviate around thunderstorms. However, I check the turbulence forecasts and see that sometimes, large areas have moderate to severe turbulence from 21,000 to 45,000 feet. I am afraid of a flight where I am subjected to moderate to severe turbulence for an hour or more continuously en route at cruising altitude. Have you ever had such a flight?

My fianc?e*s father believes that the flight would not operate (or be canceled) if such turbulence is present on route and cannot be avoided. I think he is wrong.

Please help me to settle this dispute. Thank you again!

Michael - Atlanta, GA

Hi Michael,


Yes, you are quite right. A flight will proceed but every effort will be made by the pilot to avoid the turbulence as much as possible. Obviously, if the turbulence were extreme, then the flights would be rerouted and not cancelled. I have operated in moderate turbulence for a period of time but have very often made attempts to avoid them as much as I could by rerouting or requesting for different flight levels.

You can read more similar FAQ
under the Air Turbulence Category.

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