Fatal Injury Caused by Severe Turbulence on Challenger 300 Jet Flight
On Friday, a Bombardier Challenger 300 jet encountered severe turbulence during a flight from Keene, New Hampshire to Leesburg, Virginia, resulting in a fatal injury to one of the passengers. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the plane was owned by Conexon, a company based in Kansas City, Missouri. The company, which specializes in providing high-speed internet to rural communities, declined to comment on the incident.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was on the scene interviewing the two crew members and surviving passengers, and the aircraft’s cockpit voice and data recorders were sent to their headquarters for analysis, said Sarah Sulick, a spokesperson for the NTSB.
The extent of any damage to the aircraft is still unknown, as is whether the victim was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident. Turbulence, which is caused by unstable air in the atmosphere, is a common source of fear and injury among airline passengers. A report by the NTSB found that turbulence accounted for 37% of all accidents on commercial airplanes between 2009 and 2018.
The plane was diverted to Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and Connecticut State Troopers responded to a medical assistance call at the airport. The patient was transported to a nearby hospital via ambulance.
The incident is currently being investigated by both the FAA and the NTSB, who are collecting information from the flight crew, operator and passengers about the circumstances surrounding the event. Robert Sumwalt, a former NTSB chair and executive director of the Center for Aviation and Aerospace Safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, has stated that he could not remember the last fatality due to turbulence.
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