Severe turbulence on Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong causes passengers to scream & vomit

Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong encounters severe turbulence, fails to land twice

A Cathay Pacific flight bound for Hong Kong International Airport from Shanghai on Tuesday (30 April) encountered severe turbulence due to bad weather, terrifying its passengers.

It failed to land twice at the airport and suffered a delay of three hours and 27 minutes beyond its initial landing time of 7.30pm.

The turbulence caused passengers to scream and some to vomit.

Cathay Pacific flight bound for Hong Kong fails to land twice

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Cathay Pacific flight 341 experienced severe turbulence en route from Shanghai to Hong Kong.

Source: 美最時吃喝玩樂 Melchers Travel on Facebook

Posting about the experience, a Xiaohongshu user said: “My bum detached from my seat at least three or four times, while all the items in my bag came flying out.”

“The word ‘bumpy’ fails to describe the feeling. The sense of weightlessness was way too horrible.”

She added that the aircraft failed to land twice, causing a few passengers to start vomiting, screaming, and crying from fear.

According to The Standard, the plane climbed from 152 metres above ground to 1,310 metres in two minutes when the captain suddenly aborted landing. Four minutes later, the plane climbed to 2,164 metres.

The captain attempted a landing once more but aborted the decision again, eventually diverting the plane to Shenzhen airport to refuel. It then landed safely in Hong Kong at 2.42am on Wednesday (1 May).

Severe turbulence causes passengers to scream & vomit

Footage onboard the flight captured the screams and cries of frightened passengers as the plane visibly shook.

Source: The Standard

The Xiaohongshu user said that she felt like she was “about to die”. She also wrote: “Amid the bumpy and shaky ride was the resonating sound of vomiting. The whole aircraft was filled with the smell of vomit.”

Poor weather conditions lead to delays

Cathay Pacific’s general manager for operations Glenn Devonport stated via an internal note that flights on the night of 30 April ran into very challenging conditions.

However, the crew reacted to the situation in a “calm, professional manner.”

“The weather cells were extremely active with multiple lightning strikes and even hail reported as they passed over Lantau Island,” Mr Devonport said.

The poor weather resulted in roughly 15-minute delays to some flight arrivals. The high inbound traffic caused holding times to spike from 30 minutes to over an hour.

Mr Devonport additionally revealed that 10 Cathay flights had to land at other airports as delays reduced their fuel levels.

Planes usually contain additional fuel for such situations

The chairman of the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association Paul Weatherilt said the planes would typically contain additional fuel in case of bad weather causing diversions or the need to maintain holding patterns.

“Pilots and cabin crew train and prepare for this type of event. But there is always something of a startle effect when weather like this actually arrives,” SCMP quoted him as saying.

It cannot really be controlled centrally by operations in real-time.

“Preparation is hopefully done with extra fuel loaded and more distant diversions nominated. But it is really up to the pilots on the night to come up with a plan to keep everyone safe,” Weatherilt added.

A Hong Kong Airport Authority spokesman stated that heavy rain and strong winds delayed 61 incoming and 33 outgoing flights on the evening of 30 April. 12 flights had to be diverted to airports nearby.

All passengers affected by the incident have returned safely in Hong Kong and Cathay Pacific has expressed its apology for the inconvenience caused.

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Featured image adapted from OneWorld, for illustration purposes only.

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