Severe Turbulence up North- MRLB-KMSP

Flight Information:
Origin Airport: Guanacaste International Airport (MRLB), Costa Rica
Destination Airport: Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (KMSP)
Aircraft and Livery: Sun Country Airlines Boeing 737-800
Flight Time: 4 hours, 49 minutes
Server: Training

As part of the Great Guanacaste Flyout, which I organized, I flew from Liberia, Costa Rica to Minneapolis, Minnesota with the Sun Country 737-800. Because real weather is modeled in the Online Servers, the severe weather in the Midwestern US was what I ran into during my flight.

We arrived at the airport for our 11:00 AM flight home at about 8:00. Tons of flights were leaving at the same time, so the check in hall was packed. Regardless, we cleared security and entered the terminal area, where we purchased some snacks from Cafe Britt (a real cafe- I’ve been to this airport IRL) for the flight up to the Twin Cities.


We filed onto the plane, which was parked at Gate 4, next to a Turkish Airlines 787-9, operated by @Arnav_G on a flight up to Istanbul. The cabin was comfortable, clean, and modern, with a large tray table and a seatback pocket plenty big enough for a water bottle, passport, and cell phone charger.


Takeoff! After watching @Arnav_G , @Lufthansa1 , @Sufii , @Wonderousbuilder641 , & @MANDELA take off for their respective destinations, we powered out of MRLB’s runway 07, racing towards the Honduran border.


Things were smooth to begin, but when we leveled off at 35,000 feet, we ran into our first patch of severe turbulence. Luckily, the captain was quick to bring us up to FL390, where the air was much smoother.

I got this picture on the norther coast of the Yucatán peninsula, where the flight attendants ran the snack service. I opted for some cheese and crackers, along with some Minnesota apple juice. Very tasty juice, by the way.


The scenery was boring from here on out, just the vast Caribbean Sea, before passing over the flyover states- Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa. Things were pretty smooth, and the flight attendants ran another drink service west of Little Rock.


As we began our approach into Minneapolis near Des Moines, things got really bumpy. The captain made a special announcement as we commenced our decent:

“Hello from the flight deck. Just wanted to inform you about some rough weather in the area. There are a couple big bands of severe thunderstorms on the approach path. It’s going to be pretty bumpy up until our landing, but rest assured, we’re trained to handle much worse. I’m going to try and stay as fast as possible, to penetrate that rough air better. We should be the ground in the next half hour.”

The plane got tossed around as we passed through the thunderstorms. Heavy rain and small hail pellets pounded down on the fuselage and wings. The vibe in the cabin was tense, and screams could be heard with every bump and jostle. Remarkably, nobody got airsick up until short final.


We banked west to enter the active approach path onto runway 12L near Burnsville. You can see Rice Lake and the Minnesota River just below the winglet.


Still slammed by turbulence, we banked again, this time just west of Lake Minnetonka. The suburban shopping malls and neat rows of housing sprawled out for miles in each direction, occasionally interrupted by the odd pond or highway intersection.


On final approach, we passed over Lake Harriet, normally filled with swimmers, kayakers, and sailboats, but not in this weather. I scanned the surrounding neighborhoods for my house, but couldn’t spot it with all the bumps and jostles we were experiencing.


We touched down remarkably smoothly, and braked to a rousing round of applause from the cabin. A spotter, who was braving the rain and wind to see some arrivals posted this picture of our landing, as seen from a hill nearby, on his Instagram a short while later.


The taxi in was nice and calm, a welcome relief from the tossing and turning we had experienced just moments earlier. Another spotter grabbed a photo of our plane heading over to the H gates, in Terminal 2, from across the apron.

We parked, deplaned, and cleared the quiet customs hall. Most of the other international arrivals into Terminal 2 would be coming later in the day. It was quite a flight to end our vacation!

LiveFlight Screenshots



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11 Likes

Brilliant! Nice pictures…although…doesn’t seem like turbulence in those pictures 🧐 seems perfectly still and smooth to me (joke).

2 Likes

Nice! Would have attended 100% if I knew about this

2 Likes

Looks like an awesome flight, hope you enjoyed!

2 Likes

Yes, it was! Great scenery on climb out!

Great report!

1 Like

Thanks @Patrick05!

1 Like

I can’t wait for MSP to be in 3D!

2 Likes

Same! It’s a really fun airport, even without 3D.

1 Like

Looks like thunderstorms for sure, definitely gonna be turbulent. for legal reasons this is a joke

1 Like

I absolutely slammed the landing into IST lol

Yikes… I thought you said your game crashed though?

It did but then I took off again and it didnt crash

1 Like