Just as i thought I'd got a grip with the turbulence issue!!

I have the Captains book and have read it cover to cover and it has really calmed me down with respect to turbulence and flying.  I thought I had cracked it. Its my main flying problem following an awful flight years ago.  I fly a lot and the thought of turbulence is what keeps me awake for days and weeks before I go each time.  In May I am flying alone to Singapore to see my son.  I have googled and read up about the route and have been dreading the parts of the flight around the tropics.  I have never been in this area of sky before and am terrified of storms etc. All the information I can find tells me the area over the bay of Bengal can be the most turbulent in the world.  The book had me calm and collected until the AirAsia crash and the reports it may have been caused by the severe weather in the area and a massive updraft causing a stall.  With 5 months to go I am worrying again.  I have googled weather patterns for Singapore in May and to my horror it says that the storms brew in the early hours at that time and I'm due to land at 7.15 am. Can anyone advise me on their experience of this route? 

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Hi Mandy, i'm not the captain but i was discussing this issue with a pilot friend earlier this year......it was when a video came out showing severe turbulence on a flight in the US....he said to me that turbulence never damages the plane and i argued....well what about the air france crash a few years ago.(similar circumstances to the air asia one it would seem at first glance though of course we dont know that for sure) he told me quite simply it was not turbulence that brought disaster to that plane but a massive coming together of storms that meant they were in it and couldnt fly out or around(which is very very rare) and ice formed on equipment and surfaces that led to different problems.....so please dont think of air asia being brought down by turbulence...and ignore what the news tells you about this...they do not know what caused that accident yet.

i flew through the worst i've been in just 2 weeks ago coming back from the middle east and i admit it made me very nervous.....but there were no problems on board except i spilled my coffee a bit.

i know its been said before but worrying about it from now till then wont make any different...and the fact is the stories are always worse than the facts....and you will probably have a smooth and eventless flight...ignore goole weather patterns....you are doing yourself no good

My friend flew to singapoore just yesterday she was nervous about it..but she arrived safe and sound 17 hours later without any problems.

Thanks Andy. More on this from pilots would be reassuring so a great start.
I have a 12hr flight home tomorrow from US to UK so nothing too eventful but the thoughts do pop in.

Hi Andy, thank you so much for that, it was really helpful.  I agree that the newspapers always make things seem loads worse.  Really wish they didn't but I guess thats what sells the papers!  My son flew from Bali to Singapore on AirAsia a few hours after the crash and he said it was a very bumpy flight.  Perhaps the same situation happened to the AirAsia jet as to the Air France one with storms surrounding it and closing in?  


"All the information I can find tells me the area over the bay of Bengal can be the most turbulent in the world."

Yes and I can be the most generous/kind/wealthy/etc etc in the world  but I'm not!

The inter tropical convergence zone is the bit of the world you're really talking about and planes have been flying through it for the last 90 yrs ... 

Stop googling weather patterns  they won't mean anything to you and  on the day you fly it'll probably be completely different.

If you were a Doctor ... you may be ... but I'm sure you'd rather talk to a patient that refer them to google for a diagnosis.

No pilot I know goes to google to find out the weather and I hope you'd be appalled if  you knew they did.

But curiously it wouldn't be good enough for a professional to go by, but good enough for you to make a judgement on safety.

google is ok in context. What exactly are you looking for when you 'google' ? Ask me and I'll tell you the answers ...

When I used to fly to Singapore as both captain and first officer I can't remember the bay of Bengal figuring in the briefings.

If you want my advice it would be to NEVER follow the weather and STOP picking at this aeronautical scab. You will discover nothing that will make you feel better and lots to make you feel worse.

I hate being so direct and sounding so unsympathetic but what you're doing hasn't worked doesn't work and will never work.

Ask me ... you won't get better advice and it's free .... I'm not selling you this advice  ... so you get it    this way because it's honest. If you'd prefer me to charge you and tell you things you'd like to hear ... call me!!!!

hand your fear over to me for the next two weeks and tell me if you feel rested and better after that!



Hi Keith and many thanks for your reply.  Everything you say makes sense and I will hold onto all this.  I am going to take your advice and not look at any weather reports as I agree that this is what makes or breaks a flight for me.  If it looks bad online then I get more worked up before the flight.  It now makes sense to stop looking and just go with the flow!  I will keep putting your advise in your wonderful book to use, telling myself that turbulence is not dangerous just uncomfortable and tighten the seatbelt so I move with the aircraft.  I really want to sort this fear out as I have to travel a lot (and most of all I want to go to Singapore to see my son who has moved out there!!) and it is getting silly. One of the easiest flights I had recently was to the USA with Virgin Atlantic when the pilot told us before takeoff that he anticipated us having a relatively smooth journey but he expected some moderate turbulence midway and again over the Eastern Seaboard for a short period of time.  With that info I was prepared for it and was quite calm whilst it was happening.  Once again thank you for all your help.  I really appreciate it  As a foot note, I'm not a doctor, my degree is in Geography which doesn't help with weather patterns!!!!


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