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Monday, May 10, 2021

One hurt, passengers shaken after turbulence hits Qatar Airways flight

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A Qatar Airways flight attendant has suffered a shoulder injury after a Warsaw-bound plane encountered turbulence shortly after taking off from Doha early this morning, an airline spokesperson has confirmed.

While none of the passengers aboard the Airbus A320 appear to have been injured, a spokesperson for Warsaw Chopin Airport in Poland said medical attention was given to two individuals once the plane landed.

Qatar Airways flight QR261 departed Hamad International Airport a few minutes behind schedule this morning at 2:49am.

Approximately 10 minutes into the flight, with the crew already up from their seats preparing the cabin service, the plane suddenly ascended and listed sharply to the right-hand side, according to passenger Joanna Gasiorowska.

“We flipped like a piece of paper in the wind,” she told Doha News.

She said there was a sensation of the plane in free-fall for between five and seven seconds, during which several crew members hit the ceiling.

Several flight attendants appeared to suffer minor injuries, according to Gasiorowska, who said one complained of pain in her forehead and behind her eye, while another tied her left arm in a sling for the remainder of the flight.

The most seriously hurt flight attendant told a passenger that she could not move her arm and spent the rest of the flight seated and experiencing considerable discomfort, said Gasiorowska, who tweeted about what happened.

What happened

The incident took place over the coast of Bahrain. Gasiorowska said that while the captain came back several times to check on the condition of the crew, no official explanation was given.

However, she said a crew member told her that the Qatar Airways plane was mechanically fine, but had passed through another aircraft’s wake and “described it as near-miss.”

https://twitter.com/JoGasiorowska/status/541480259896758273

The skies over Qatar and the Gulf are growing increasingly more congested amid the rapid growth of the national carrier, Emirates and Etihad airlines.

International aviation authorities have previously voiced concerns about the air traffic congestion in the Gulf and urged governments to open up more air space for civilian use.

A Qatar Airways spokesperson told Doha News that he had no information about the involvement of a second aircraft. He added that the Warsaw-bound plane encountered “normal, moderate turbulence” and one crew member suffered a “slight shoulder bruise.”

If there was a second plane involved, Gasiorowska said she’d like to be notified of the outcome of any investigation and find out if the incident was the result of an error made by an air traffic controller, the Qatar Airways cockpit crew or another pilot.

The passengers’ frayed nerves were tested again at the conclusion of their roughly six-hour journey. Approximately 400 feet above the Warsaw runway, the Qatar Airways plane suddenly pulled up and aborted its landing, flight tracking monitors show.

The plane circled around the airport to make a second approach and landed without incident.

As the aircraft taxied away from the runway, Gasiorowska said she heard a standard script being read over the intercom, hoping that she and the other passengers had a pleasant flight, several moments before paramedics boarded to treat the injured flight attendant.

Thoughts?

49 COMMENTS

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Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

“normal, moderate turbulence”

Seriously? Why not at least say heavy turbulence. Bizarre not to acknowledge it at all, and then the aborted landing.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

One does not say “heavy” turbulence as such a thing does not exist in aviation. Your options are light, moderate or severe. Take your pick. Jet upset may be closer to the truth. In fairness, pax usually don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to flying. Perceptions of climbing, descending and turbulence are all strange and for example acceleration is perceived as climbing. I would accept that the event was unfortunate especially for the cc but its part of the risk. As regards the “suddenly pulled up at 400 feet” bit I have two points. Firstly most people in an aircraft have no idea how high up they are by looking out the windows so I would not trust the 400 number and secondly in a go around, the idea is to get away from the ground and back into the air, messing around and doing it slowly does not make it any safer especially with two engines in TOGA. (Not having a go at you Jaded, I am just replying to your post as a way of adding info.)

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Fair enough, passengers would be mostly clueless, as I would have been, but turbulence that ended in some people being injured and a sudden aborted landing at least warrant some explanation, especially if a crew member said it was a near miss, unless of course she’s making it all up and blowing it well out of proportion

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

First of all, speedy recovery to the injured crew who do their best to keep us safe on these flights, reading the above, I did cringe a bit at the expression “near miss”, the wake turbulence thing I got, that seemed like it could have been an explanation, it also seems like that was blurted out the way it was reported. I think the passenger seems to have tweeted in a heightened state of arousal, and while I don’t doubt it was terrifying, it’s a bit much without adding some more voices to the story. Thanks @disqus_eSEWcJqrQD:disqus your explanation gives some nice perspective, looking forward to some more insight if you have any. I’ve always found the cockpit crew to be quite forthcoming with information and reasons for delays or go-arounds,even qatar airways, I don’t know if others would share their experiences related the cockpit crew, I think in general the customer support on the ground is where they fail, providing little information or sympathy, compensation is usually a set number of air miles. Interesting read anyways, not sure it’s going to bring forth anywhere close to a meaningful response from QA, but let’s see!

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

In most situations the response I have had is “Take a number..”

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Agreed. For what it’s worth, my (Privilege Club Platinum) assessment of QR is being terrible on the ground, in PR, and in business practice, but once you get on the plane the cabin crew and pilots are outstanding.

Eyad
Eyad
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Go-arounds are a fairly standard practice in the aviation industry. Not only in Qatar Airways, but in every airline. If the captain is not fully satisfied with the approach, he can always choose to have another go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH4zNrJhFzA

Peter Kovessy
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Hi Huzz – Flight tracking monitors show the plane descended to 400 feet before ascending again: http://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/QTR261/history/20141206/2335Z/OTHH/EPWA/tracklog

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Peter Kovessy

If she is correct on this then I would say a lucky guess or the info came from somewhere before being tweeted.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Having that said the lady may just be an altitude guessing whizz.

Aussie expat
Aussie expat
6 years ago
Reply to  Peter Kovessy

It depends on where she was sitting. I know on narrow bodied aircraft, like the A320, that sitting in row one, I can hear the proximity alert warnings on landing calling, 500…400…300…200 as we come in.

KJD
KJD
6 years ago

So the entire story is built on the comments of one passenger who tweeted about things. In my experience, you shouldn’t believe everything people tweet about as they like to sensationalize it. I’m sure she didn’t have time to start her stopwatch to know how long it all lasted, and it was likely just a few seconds and not 5-7 seconds. I’ve been on a few flights myself in which spots of unexpected turbulence have occurred and people get knocked about. It’s nothing to get one’s knickers in a knot over.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago
Reply to  KJD

Agreed. I’m sure it was scary but on one hand she tweets that two of the injured are seriously injured and on the otherhand it says the most serious injury was a slightly bruised shoulder or pain in her arm. In normal news articles, seriously injured is way more serious than that usually refering to permanent or life threatening damage. Im glad no one was seriously injured.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

For anyone who is interested AHL now has the One World paint scheme.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

lol that did interest me, you think that’s the plane?

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Perhaps but unlikely.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

According to flightradar it was A7-AHX. I wonder if it can tell us if something a little larger passed just in front of it as they went over Bahrain?

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I don’t use this software so I don’t know. If people were injured then the QCAA will have to receive a report and they will investigate.

Bursin
Bursin
6 years ago

There is a culture in Qatar Airways (and Qatar) of not admitting when things go wrong (all about saving face). Pilots are not allowed to discuss issues with anyone and there is no sharing of flight reviews between pilots by the company. It’s only a matter of time before this comes back to bite them in the behind.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  Bursin

“If there was a second plane involved, Gasiorowska said she’d like to be notified of the outcome of any investigation and find out if the incident was the result of an error made by an air traffic controller, the Qatar Airways cockpit crew or another pilot.”

What I find sad is that there is a system in Qatar where people like to point the finger at person, making sure someone looses their job over an apparent error. But I can think of very very few accidents or incidents where only one factor or person was to blame. Usually for something major to happen, there has to be an alignment of multiple failures in the safety nets. That being said, once in a while, something sudden could happen (turbulence in clear air, or a loss of thrust from an engine). Rather than this women getting caught up in the blame game, why not be thankful things were not more serious? Why not be happy the pilots decided not to land when they clearly considered the approach not to be safe enough to continue?

I’ll accept that any time a confusing or frightening thing happens on board an aircraft, people are looking for some kind of an explanation from the Captain, and maybe this was lacking, I don’t know. But I just wish people would stop trying to point fingers! I wouldn’t go to her place of work telling her everything she does wrong in a career I know nothing about. Maybe she needs to stay home!

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

If you don’t critique things you can’t improve upon them.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I agree totally! But there is a significant difference between critique and blame. We can critique laws, ideas, services etc without assigning blame. In an aviation accident or incident, it’s really only lawyers and insurance companies who want to assign blame, so they can get away without paying out. But the industry wants to know WHAT went wrong to learn from it and prevent it happening again. Do you think she has any ability to prevent it happening again, or just wants to point the finger and assign blame?

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

You ask a lot of questions:

*1. Do you think she has any ability to prevent it happening again, or just wants to point the finger and assign blame?

I don’t know whether she has the ability or just wants to point the finger but I would like to think there was a system in place that questioned what happened and let people know.

* She tweeted the missed approach happened at 1000ft – how does she know?

Maybe she guessed but if you check the monitoring of flights it indicates the turnaround was at 400m which is pretty close to 1000 ft.

*She tweeted that they had a near miss, yet said there was no explanation from the captain – did she see the other aircraft?

Perhaps there should have been an explanation from the captain? Perhaps there was one. This is not clear from what is reported so far. It’s extremely unlikely she would have been able to see another aircraft but again maybe this is something the crew told her. Passing through the turbulence of another aircraft is very different from other turbulence so maybe she could tell the difference?

*She is apparently a journalist, but invents news based on her own flawed ideas and understanding, then wants to blame someone for doing something that she says was wrong. Has anyone asked the other 100+ passengers on board?

Can you provide evidence of this? AJ is generally considered a reputable source – at least in English – I see no clear evidence of her being “sensationalist” or wanting to blame anyone. If I’d experienced what she describes I think I’d be equally concerned and until an adequate explanation is provided by the authorities and/or the airline then I think everyone else should be also.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I already mentioned the misunderstanding of 5-7 seconds of falling. It wouldn’t be possible to be falling in an aircraft for that length of time and still be experiencing wake turbulence. It’s like reading a report of someone blogging, or posting on Facebook, in 1975. When the fact presented are illogical then they must be questioned.

400m is very different from 400ft, which was the case here according to the ADS return that the flight tracker uses.

There are most definitely channels and systems in place to investigate any serious incident. For example, if there is a near miss, both aircraft and ATC would be required to report it. An investigation would be conducted and the findings published. Whether or not they went public would depend very much on the seriousness of the incident, and I don’t know the parameters for that. Aircraft accident findings are always made public. Incidents may or may not be. In this case, if people were injured, I think an official explanation would important.

As for blame, she didn’t ask for an explanation, she asked to know who was at fault.

I agree she, as others, deserve an explanation. I’d be happy to hear one also, so that we learn to prevent incidents like this in the future. But what she describes is factually illogical, and what she desires is to know who she can point the finger at.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Although the numbers may be wrong it is not factually illogical that she experienced something. Her own observation may have been what told her there were cabin crew injured. In those circumstances alone I think it is very reasonable expectation that an explanation is given. I see no merit in ascribing blame either but it is reasonable to expect accountability.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I’ll agree with you there, and reporting facts is certainly acceptable. I’m only pointing out the degree those facts can be skewed when in an emotional state. I can’t take away her experience, only look for the facts.

Ask 30,000 people after a football game to write about their experience, and you’ll likely get some sensational reports, some factual reports, some emotional reports, some factual errors etc. True journalism is sifting through all the evidence to find fact, and remove emotion. But making a news story from a single person’s experience flawed.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

But at the end of the game of football there is a score. This person has reported having seen a game of football but nobody seems to be prepared to disclose the score.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

she described what she experienced. She was a witness of what happened. I guess she would have avoided being terrified on that flight.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

I think some people may be too quick to discount the “comments of one passenger”. This person is an Al Jazeera reporter so I would be surprised if they said anything without having at least something to substantiate it. The fact she said they “passed through another aircraft’s jetstream” is something you’d expect to be told rather than see for yourself. I would go as far to assume someone from the crew would have told this information otherwise you’d expect her to report it as normal turbulence. I have experienced passing through the jetstream of another aircraft myself and the experience felt – to me at least – very similar to what she has described. The difference is the captain of the plane and the airline in question very quickly explained what had happened and expressed their apologies. In that country there was also a very prompt investigation and the findings were made public.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

For the record, a jet stream is a natural phenomena that happens in nature, and is to do with wind. What you are describing is wake turbulence, and is something very different from a jet stream. Furthermore, wake turbulence can be dependant on a multitude of factors, and begins to dissipate once it’s generated, the rate of which, again, is variable depending on external factors such as wind speed and direction.

I have flown through wake many many times in my life, and while it can be sudden, it’s seldom aggressive. I’d say the worst I ever experienced induced a roll of not more than about 5-7 degrees which the autopilot recovered within a second or two. And the worst turbulence I ever experienced was near a convective cloud in Gatwick, that lasted no more than 3 seconds.

Just count out 5-7 seconds in your head, and imagine how far a plane could fall in that time. These are the claims this ‘reporter’ is making, and are not only unlikely, but supported by any further evidence.

I’m not saying she is lying. I’m simply saying her reporting has been based on her own emotion rather than a portrayal of the facts, or even an interview of passengers around her!

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

She’s not reporting. She’s tweeting. She’s not saying much and in the absence of any more information I find it odd that people automatically discount what someone says simply for being emotional about it. You can disclose facts/views/estimates whilst also being “emotional” about it. I fail to see how that makes a difference as to what actually happens. PS – you’re right about the terminology but I would guess the impact of the wake turbulence would depend on how close you are to another aircraft. We simply don’t know in this case.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

perhaps a job there for @dohanews to find out more…

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I agree totally

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

True, but emotion clouds facts. I never questioned her opinion, but I question them being presented as fact. If you asked a doctor what happened when someone died, you’d be likely to trust what they said. If a reporter presents something as fact, they must be aware that it will be taken in good faith. I’m sure she was afraid, and she can say that. But I don’t like people presenting as fact, when the ‘facts’ presented are illogical.

As someone experienced in aviation, I simply present an informed, factual presentation of the flaws in her comments.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

She is tweeting (on the internet btw). Nothing is being “presented” as fact. It is up to the observer to cast a critical eye. That being said just because someone is emotional does not mean their opinion should be discounted. In fact in these circumstances it would probably not have even been under discussion unless it was “emotional”. You obviously have something to contribute in this case but in my experience it is often those most “experienced” that see their views as the “informed” and “factual” who are the ones that need to be questioned the most.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

At this point people either were or weren’t injured – whatever the cause – and there is nothing on Qatar Airways web site regarding it. I would have thought they would either have given an explanation or denied it by now.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

You can question me, and I’ll give you the answers. I do think I may be slightly more informed than someone not working in aviation. And I do think I can present factual information on a subject I’ve studied for a long time. I’m not, at any time, presenting something factual regarding the specific events today, just an explanation of what could, and could not have occurred.

And I don’t discount her opinion, I dislike opinion being taken as fact.

I think we agree on some points and disagree on others, and that’s OK. My only serious contention is that, as a reporter, she must be aware that when she presents something to the public (tweet or otherwise) people take it as fact. The same way you might trust a doctor. Or maybe you’d get a second to corroborate the fact.

What we know is that an incident happened on board that was frightening, and injured some cabin crew. At a later point, the pilots felt it was the best decision to discontinue the approach because it was either unsafe or illegal to continue.

Beyond this, we get into the realms of conjecture. Not having nay explanation is one thing, not having sufficient explanation is personal opinion. It can be reported, but should be reported as opinion only.

Falling for 5-7 seconds is just not possible. And if it was, and the cabin crew hit the ceiling, (s)he would have been pinned to the ceiling for the duration of the freefall – now that would have been something to report!!

I only make two main points of criticism:

1. DN has displayed poor journalistic ability by making a news report based on the account of a single person without corroborating the facts.

2. A person holding a specific title or career expertise (such as an Al Jazeera journalist) must be more aware of how their comments or statements are viewed by the public, and take more care to present factual information rather than just conjecture.

Final point and I’ll let it rest, note in point two above I have not assigned blame to her. I’ve not said that if any of the facts are wrong she needs to be held accountable. I’ve critiqued the situation, and made comments that I think would help do a better job of presenting factual news stories.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

I think DN have done nothing more than recount what information they have – some even confirmed by Qatar Airways.

As for the tweets and her replies to some others people can judge for themselves..

https://twitter.com/JoGasiorowska

https://twitter.com/JoGasiorowska/with_replies

Bornrich
Bornrich
6 years ago

The incident certainly raises a few questions. What was the preceding aircraft’s weight, wingspan, air speed? Did the preceding aircraft make a steep descent or a slow approach/take-off? Were controllers aware of any wake-turbulence hazard? Was a warning given by Air Traffic Control? Was there adequate communication between Bahrain and Qatar ATCs? Will the response be more than a standard pilot advisory? And finally, chicken or beef?

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Bornrich

And in fact was there a preceding aircraft involved? – Asian vegetarian thanks..

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

If there were injuries to the crew then should the flight not have been brought back to its base. Cabin crew hitting the ceiling and banging their heads , shoulder injuries, etc are certainly not minor injuries and injured crews also affects the safety of the flight itself

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago

Maybe it was a rookie pilot?

Did anyone notice of there was a ‘P’ sign hanging on the nose of the plane?

Rapha31
Rapha31
6 years ago

Panic as Qatar Airways plane hits turbulence
September 10, 2013 – 2:10:40 am

The Peninsula

http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/news/qatar/252375/panic-as-qatar-airways-plane-hits-turbulence

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Could have been pilot error. Heard from a Qatar Air pilot last year that Qatar airways sacked a heap of Indian pilots because they fraudulently altered their flying hours and actual rank to gain jobs with Qatar airways….just saying.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Could be mechanical error. Could be weather. Could be ATC error. Could be pilot error. Could be a lot of things all combining at the same time.

Could be someone manually flying and passing through their cleared altitude, making a sudden correction. Could be wake turbulence, but not for 5-7 seconds of falling (doesn’t fit with dimensions of wake). Could be an accidental deployment of speed brakes. Could have been an inversion layer where temperature increases markedly and suddenly with increasing altitude (aircraft would lose performance).

I’m just saying that your two points aren’t really linked to the story, and your comment doesn’t follow your normal logic that I have otherwise come to enjoy from your other posts on DN!

As for the sacking, I don’t know the facts. But can you show me ANY industry where there hasn’t been someone who has falsely represented themselves or lied to get where they are?

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

I was just saying what I was told, simple, nothing more nothing less, I know nothing about planes. I sit in them and hope those up the front do! Every industry suffers from fraudulent claims of quals , yes I agree. Maybe it doesn’t link to the story, but others are suggesting pilot error maybe the cause, so the casual conversation I had with a pilot about QA and the pilots was of interest to those I suppose.

Izabela
Izabela
6 years ago

The Passenger.

I was on board the aircraft. I think it is a mockery of the opinion that what we had, it was moderate turbulence. The plane sharply shock and very swerved to the right, dropping very low. All passengers lifted up in their seats. After this hard fade away. Injured was stuardessa, hit the truck in the stomach. Next stuardessa was wounded in the arm. In addition, the passenger suffered injuries in the first class. The last person was provided by the medical service immediately after landing. The landing was also awful. This feeling of rapid ascent, after such a long wait on the landing ….

Joanna Gasiorowska
Joanna Gasiorowska
6 years ago
Reply to  Izabela

Izabela, thanks for also coming forward with your experience. Since the incident I have read the horrible comments about me being a fantasist, I hope people will believe us now. Have you heard anything from Qatar Airways since? I have not.

asd
asd
5 years ago
Reply to  Izabela

What a horrible English! Shame on you.

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