Turbulence and How to Report it


Recently I have seen an influx of topics regarding worst flight experiences etc on the forum (like this one) and thought it would be a good idea to educate the forum on how to report turbulence and chop and the difference in them.

Light Chop

Turbulence that causes slight, rapid and somewhat rhythmic bumpiness without appreciable changes in altitude or attitude.

Light Turbulence

Turbulence that momentarily causes slight, erratic changes in altitude and/or attitude (pitch, roll, yaw).

Moderate Chop

Turbulence that is similar to Light Chop but of greater intensity. It causes rapid bumps or jolts without appreciable change in aircraft or attitude.

Moderate Turbulence

Turbulence that is similar to Light Turbulence but of greater intensity. Changes in altitude and/or attitude occur but the aircraft remains in positive control at all times. It usually causes variation in indicated speed.

Severe Turbulence

Turbulence that causes large, abrupt changes in altitude and/or attitude. It usually causes large variations in indicated airspeed. Aircraft may be momentarily out of control.

Extreme Turbulence

Turbulence in which the aircraft is violently tossed about and is practically impossible to control. It may causes structural damage.

if you want to read about how things react inside the aircraft or how often it is reported as well as this information I posted, you can view the source here


This will make a great reference thread, everyone should take note


So I am guessing chop is very short term compared to turbulence?

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Can we actually report turbulence here??

You got it. “Chop” is pilot lingo for turbulence.

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No but I thought it would be cool to give some insight on

I will let @DeerCrusher answer that or even @Erj145

All you need to know is “light chop” = Delta 😂 jk.

In all seriousness N1RG is spot on. It also depends on the threshold on the pic flying Imho. I have flown with some that call everything light chop. I don’t say anything. I wouldn’t call it calm either.

Anytime someone gets tossed off their seat, or frame damage I would easily call that severe or extreme and in which case the AC is officially MEL’ed and mechanics have to take a look at it before it goes back on the line.


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