A Lufthansa flight from Austin, Texas to Frankfurt, Germany was forced to divert to Washington Dulles International Airport on Wednesday evening due to significant turbulence. Seven passengers were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, according to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman, Michael Cabbage.
The Airbus A330 was flying over Tennessee when it reported severe turbulence at an altitude of 37,000ft. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident. One passenger described the experience as “shocking” and “like you’re in slow motion.”
THE VIEW FROM INSIDE: New video shows food that went flying from what passengers describe as a “free fall" on Lufthansa Flight 469. The plane was flying from Austin to Frankfurt when it diverted to Dulles due to significant turbulence. @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/hwvG61hQUp
— Michael Pegram (@MichaelPNews) March 2, 2023
Turbulence is a major cause of accidents and injuries during flights, with clear-air turbulence being the most dangerous type. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), turbulence accounted for 37.6% of all accidents on larger commercial airlines between 2009 and 2018. Storms in Tennessee on Wednesday night created strong winds in the upper atmosphere, which could easily have caused turbulence for any flight.
174 people were aboard Lufthansa Flight 469, which was scheduled to travel from Austin to Frankfurt for a duration of 10 hours. The airline has stated that it will review the situation with its staff, along with the appropriate national and international authorities. As incidents of severe turbulence are increasing, experts advise passengers to remain seated with their seatbelts fastened as much as possible during flights for their own safety and the safety of their fellow passengers.