I have just received this email from someone.....Once, on take off from Gatwick, whilst the aeroplane was climbing most passengers on board felt that the plane was suddenly dropping backwards. I know it couldn't possibly have been doing this. In fact the only part of flying I hate are the take-offs, where I unfortunately close my eyes, start hyperventilating and gripping on the seat arms until it levels out, but I didn't seem to notice it. A lot of passengers did and some got quite panicky with the person next to me gripped my arm. Could the plane have hit some turbulance on its ascent, or do you think some people felt it was dropping when in fact it wasn't?
Welcome to the new network, this is our first day, first few hours in fact...and you'll be pleased to know that yours is the very first question asked.
In answer to your question; This is quite a common experience,it's caused by the engine power being reduced at the same time as the plane is reducing climb or levelling out. You'll find some help on this page of the wesite where there are some free podcasts. If you listen to number 15 that might explain things.
Out of hundreds of flights, I can remember two most unnerving flights, here is one. This was during the March 2008, I was flying from Dallas to Vancouver on a 738. We were at altitude and nice and level for bout an hour. The captain gets on the PA and says, "Off the right side of the plane, are some big thunderstorms with tops to 60,000 feet, we are 15 miles away but think it could get choppy. Would everyone including flight attendants take your seats." I was in the first seat row of the plane (I hear less chop up there) otherside of the storms. We went through: smooth air, some chop, a good downdraft and some more chop in this order for about 20 minutes. Listening to the carts hit the top of the counters in the gallery is a bit unnerving though.;) I felt panicked but knew we were fine and on a roller coaster.:) I realized there is very little I can do to change the situation, I just sat back breathed, relaxed and waited for for the turbulence to resolve itself. On landing, I asked the first officer how much we dropped he said only 500 feet (out of 35,000 feet), we fared much better than others. He's right considering several died on the ground in those megacell thunderstorms in Oklahoma, we did fare much better.