HomeGlobal 360Incident Report: Singapore Airlines Flight Ventures into Perilous Airspace, Alarming Pilots

Incident Report: Singapore Airlines Flight Ventures into Perilous Airspace, Alarming Pilots

Incident Report: Singapore Airlines Flight Ventures into Perilous Airspace, Alarming Pilots

A former pilot suggested that the Singapore Airlines flight, which faced severe turbulence and led to a passenger’s death, might have flown into the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ICZ). According to NASA Earth Observatory, this zone is near the equator where winds from the north and south meet. The intense heat and warm waters here create high humidity. When the winds come together, the moist air rises, cools, and forms thunderstorms, making the area prone to constant storms.

Marco Chan, a former commercial pilot and aviation lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University, stated that in such a situation, pilots might have had limited options.

“With turbulence of such magnitude, it is likely the Singapore Airlines flight was navigating through difficult thunderstorms,” Chan told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Explaining the complicated storm system, he told The Guardian, “Thunderstorms are prominently displayed on the pilots’ navigation display – but it may not be possible to completely circumvent the storm cluster as they can stretch well over 50 nautical miles.”

Passengers recall horror

Photos taken inside the plane showed cuts in the overhead cabin panels, oxygen masks and panels dangling from the ceiling, and luggage scattered around.

A passenger reported that some people’s heads hit the lights above the seats, puncturing the panels.

A 28-year-old student onboard the Boeing BA.N 777-300ER plane told Reuters he saw “people from across the aisle going completely horizontal, hitting the ceiling and landing back down in really awkward positions.”

“Everyone seated and not wearing a seatbelt was launched immediately into the ceiling, some people hit their heads on the baggage cabins overhead and dented it, they hit the places where lights and masks are and broke straight through it,” the student said.

“The crew and people inside lavatories were hurt the most because we discovered people just on the ground not able to get up. There were a lot of spinal and head injuries,” the New York Post quoted the student as saying.

Another passenger, Andrew Davies, told the New York Times that the medical staff on board were urgently trying to provide assistance, including to the elderly British man who passed away.

“People’s belongings were scattered, coffee and water splattered the ceiling. Surreal. So many injured people. Head lacerations, bleeding ears. A lady was screaming in pain with a bad back. I couldn’t help her,” Davies added.

In a video message released hours after the flight’s emergency landing in Bangkok, the airline’s CEO, Goh Choon Phong, stated, “On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased.”

In a statement, the airline said, “Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. We deeply apologise for the traumatic experience that our passengers and crew members suffered on this flight.”

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