Seven people on a Lufthansa flight from Texas to Germany were taken to hospitals Wednesday after Flight 469 from Austin to Frankfurt encountered a „significant turbulence” around 37,000 feet, while the aircraft was over Tennessee and diverted to Dulles International Airport in the Virginia suburbs of Washington. “It was like unexpectedly free-falling for five seconds off the top of a rollercoaster, plates and glassware were up at the ceiling, and my purse from the floor flew behind me to the right,” a passenger described. The plane landed safely.
The injured passengers were taken to hospitals. “This was so-called clear air turbulence, which can occur without visible weather phenomena or advance warning,” a Lufthansa statement said. The plane was an Airbus A330. The FAA will investigate the incident.A clear air turbulence causes violent buffeting of aircraft. Aircraft can suffer structural damage. In extreme cases this can lead to the break-up of the aircraft. In December, severe turbulence on a Hawaii Airlines flight bound for Honolulu injured 36 people, 11 of them seriously.