- Severe turbulence on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner caused injuries to two flight attendants.
- The encounter occurred at around 28,000 feet.
- Officials are investigating the incident.
Severe turbulence caused two flight attendants to be injured on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner operated by All Nippon Airways (ANA) earlier this week. It is believed the incident occurred when the aircraft was around 28,000 feet.
One flight attendant reportedly suffered from a bone fracture as a result. After the case of turbulence, the flight did not divert but rather continued to Bangkok.
Details of the incident
According to The Aviation Herald, the incident of severe turbulence took place on January 31st on ANA flight 849 (NH-849). The aircraft operating the flight was a Boeing 787-9 registered JA899A. The flight originated at Haneda Airport (HND) in Tokyo and was headed to Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) in Bangkok. FlightAware data shows that the plane left HND’s terminal 3 on time at 12:19 JST, and taxied over to Runway 05 for its departure. After about 20 minutes, the Dreamliner was airborne, flying over Tokyo Bay. As it climbed in altitude, it quickly turned back southwest and reached 26,000 feet (FL260) only 15 minutes after takeoff.
Photo: motive56 | Shutterstock
It appears that FL260 was the initial cruising altitude instructed by air traffic controllers because the aircraft remained at the altitude for nearly an hour before the turbulence encounter. At approximately 01:46 JST, flight data shows that JA899A suddenly ascended 900 feet in one minute. A minute later, the plane climbed another 700 feet and ultimately reached 28,000 feet seconds later. The aircraft then fell 1,300 feet back to 26,700 feet another minute later, subsequently returning to FL260.
Confirming the injuries
The sudden rise and fall in altitude is believed to be when the severe turbulence and injuries occurred, according to The Aviation Herald. However, there were other moments in the seven-hour flight where the Dreamliner fluctuated in altitudes as it continued toward BKK. Once it returned to FL260, the aircraft maintained its altitude for over an hour before jumping to 38,000 feet. It remained at FL380 for only five minutes and then descended 4,000 feet to 34,000 feet. Situated west of Taiwan, the plane stayed at FL340 for about 40 minutes and climbed again, this time to 40,000 feet – where it remained for the rest of its cruise.
Photo: R.R. Aditya | Shutterstock
Six hours and eight minutes into the journey, the aircraft began its initial descent. It landed safely at BKK on Runway 01R at 05:29. It is unclear whether medical personnel attended to the injured flight attendants, but according to The Aviation Herald, they returned to HND on the same day. It was not until Friday, “two days after returning from Bangkok,” that Japan’s Ministry of Transport (JTSB) confirmed the injuries of the two crew members.
Extent of the injuries
According to reports, one flight attendant tripped during the severe turbulence, resulting in a diagnosis of “serious injuries” with a fractured bone. The other flight attendant reportedly scraped their leg against a cart amid the encounter. Simple Flying has contacted ANA for further details, but a representative could not be immediately reached.
The JTSB is investigating the incident. There were a total of 257 passengers onboard, according to The Aviation Herald.
Comparing the different factors.