Singapore Airlines aircraft dropped 178ft in 5 seconds, black field information reveals | EUROtoday

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Thomas Mackintosh,Katy Austin

Watch: How chaos onboard Singapore Airlines SQ321 unfolded

Early investigations into extreme turbulence that hit a Singapore Airlines flight final Tuesday reveal it dropped round 178ft (54m) over 4.6 seconds.

One British passenger died and dozens extra had been injured when the London-Singapore flight encountered the turbulence over Myanmar and needed to make an emergency touchdown in Thailand.

Singaporean investigators have extracted information saved within the flight information recorder and cockpit voice recorder of the plane.

Their preliminary report mentioned speedy modifications in gravitational power (G) induced the altitude drop which seemingly injured those that weren’t carrying seatbelts.

Singapore Airlines mentioned it was cooperating with investigators and supporting affected passengers and crew – together with with medical and hospital bills.

Reuters Food and drink items, including kettles, were pictured on the plane's floor after it met turbulenceReuters

Food and drink objects, together with kettles, had been pictured on the aircraft’s ground after it met turbulence

The Transport Safety Investigation Bureau’s (TSIB) preliminary findings mentioned the flight operated as regular till it in all probability flew over an space of “developing convective activity” whereas passing over the south of Myanmar at 37,000ft (11,300m).

“The rapid changes in G over the 4.6 seconds duration resulted in an altitude drop of 178ft (54m), from 37,362ft to 37,184ft,” the report mentioned.

“This sequence of events likely caused the injuries to the crew and passengers.

“After the pilots had been knowledgeable by the cabin crew that there have been injured passengers within the cabin, the choice was made to divert to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand.”

Approximately 17 minutes after the turbulence event, the pilots were able to make a “managed descent from 37,000ft”, the report said, adding the aircraft did not encounter any more severe turbulence during its diversion to Bangkok.

The pilots also requested for medical services to meet the aircraft on arrival.

TSIB, which operates under Singapore’s transport ministry, said its investigations were ongoing.

There were 211 passengers and 18 crew onboard the Boeing 777-300ER aircraftaccording to Singapore Airlines.

Geoff Kitchen, 73, died from a suspected heart attack onboard, while 104 other passengers were taken to Bangkok’s Samitivej Hospital for treatment.

Ali Bukhari, 27, who was seated with his wife Ramiza, told the BBC the aircraft went into “straight freefall”.

“It was terrifying. It’s identical to taking place a vertical curler coaster,” he mentioned.

“Oxygen masks had all come out, components of the inside of the aircraft had been broken… I assumed that was from the power of the turbulence however loads of it was simply because everybody who wasn’t carrying a seatbelt flew proper into the air and hit the ceiling.

“We noticed blood on the ceiling… It was simply full havoc. Lots of people had been on the ground.”

Graphic from Flight Radar 24 showing the path of the Singapore Airlines plane from London Heathrow to Singapore which experienced severe turbulence and diverted to Bangkok

Sinagpore Airines said it was committed to supporting crew members and passengers who were onboard Tuesday’s flight.

“This contains overlaying their medical and hospital bills, in addition to any further help they might want,” the airline said on social media.

“The security and well-being of our passengers and workers are our prime priorities.

“We deeply appreciate the invaluable assistance provided by the governments of Singapore and Thailand, as well as our many partners and the medical teams in both countries and around the world.”