A "Turbulence Education and Training Aid" has been sent by The Boeing Company to nearly 700 of its commercial airplane customers throughout the world.
The training aid, which includes an illustrated manual and a 26-minute video, was developed to reduce turbulence-related injuries and minimize aircraft damage. It gives pilots and other aviation professionals a stronger knowledge of weather conditions that cause turbulence and tips on how to avoid turbulent conditions. In cases where turbulence is unavoidable, it describes how risk can be minimized.
The aid was developed last year by McDonnell-Douglas, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Transport Association, prior to the merger between Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. It was distributed at that time to approximately 100 U.S. air carriers.
Capt. David Williams, chief pilot, Flight Standards and Safety, Boeing Long Beach Division, was employed by McDonnell Douglas when he served as manager of the training aid project. He said turbulence incidents, while rare, are still the leading cause of injury in non-fatal airborne accidents.
"Over the past year, we have received excellent reports from airlines that have used the aid," Williams said. "I was very happy when Boeing, as part of its overall safety program, decided to distribute this valuable instructional tool worldwide."
Using information from the aid, Williams has given a number of presentations on turbulence. These include appearances at the Fourth National Aviation Conference in Taiwan, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Flight Safety Technology Conference in Hongzhou, China, and the International Aviation Safety Seminar in Washington, D.C.
In addition to pilots, the aid is a useful teaching tool for flight crews, flight attendants, dispatchers and aviation meteorologists. The video, titled "A Little Bumpy Air," advises flight attendants to maintain minimum readiness levels at all times. During light turbulence, attendants should make sure that seat belts are fastened and that all infants and children are safely restrained by an adult.