An Aerolineas Argentina flight traveling from Miami to Buenos Aires was rocked by severe turbulence on Thursday injuring 15 and causing major damage inside the cabin.
Flight AR1303 was traveling from Miami International Airport to Ministro Pistarini International Airport on Thursday when severe turbulence hit the 18-year-old A330-200 aircraft while cruising over Brazil. The turbulence caused oxygen masks to deploy, overhead bins to fly open, ceiling panels to partially collapse, food and drink to be whipped through the cabin as well as passengers getting bruises and blows from the turbulence. After landing 8 passengers were taken to hospital with the other 7 receiving medical assistance at the airport.
Aerolineas Argentina quickly released a statement saying: The incident occurred in the flight phase called “cruise” and was immediately reported by the commander in charge of the aircraft. The company arranged its medical equipment upon arrival of the flight to assist those passengers who suffered blows or bruises due to the sudden movements that this type of atmospheric conditions causes. Once the turbulence zone was crossed, the crew in charge of the flight dedicated to assist the injured passengers and to relieve the general condition of the 192 passengers. Upon arrival, the medical assistance teams carried out the corresponding healthcare and applied the necessary care to each of the affected persons. In the same way, those responsible for the human factors of Aerolineas Argentinas were present to provide containment and meet the particular needs of passengers. Turbulence occurs when two air masses of different temperatures or different velocities collide. These can produce sudden movements in the aircraft according to their intensity, although they do not in any way jeopardize the safety of the aircraft.
The flight landed safely at 7:20 pm local time on Thursday evening after 8hrs and 41mins of flying. The aircraft (registered LV-FNK) has not moved since and is most probably under investigation by authorities and the airline itself, however, I could not find any official sources specifying the investigation. Certainly a scary flight for all involved, however, the crew deserves credit for attempting to do what they could to control the situation because at the end of the day things might be damaged but no lives were lost and the aircraft landed safely, I personally think that matters a hell of a lot more than a damaged aircraft interior.
LH-FNK, the aircraft involved in the incident seen here seconds away from landing into Miami in 2017 full photo credit