Many people have a fear of flying. I believe that for most people, it is because of all of the unknowns associated with flying. Whether it be afraid of heights, not knowing how on earth the plane stays in the air, or the fear of turbulence breaking the airplane apart in mid-air. I am here to explain why you should not be afraid of turbulence.
First of all, turbulence is something that will be encountered on almost every single flight. Turbulence is a routine thing for pilots and their crew. Turbulence can be broken up into 3 main categories, light, moderate, and severe. For most passenger airlines, pilots avoid turbulence whenever possible, but they almost always only fly through what is considered to be light turbulence. Turbulence is just like bumps on a road, or waves in a boat. The issue for most people is that, obviously, air cannot be seen. The air moves like water, it flows around the earth at different speeds and directions, which is the main cause for turbulence.
During takeoff, and landing is when the most severe turbulence is typically felt. This can be for a variety of reasons. This can be from other aircraft ‘mixing up the air’ in front of you, or this can be from thermals. Thermals are the most common. This occurs when the sun heats up the ground, which radiates heat upward, causing updrafts, thus causing turbulence.
Finally, airplanes are tested and put through rigorous examinations that stress the aircraft out far more than what turbulence would ever produce. The airplane will not fall apart in thin air because of a few bumps. Turbulence is a routine thing and will never be possible to totally avoid. Pilots take all the proper steps to assure passenger comfort, but turbulence is often times unavoidable. Although, it is not something to be afraid of!