Turbulence Workshop


The Cost of Turbulence

In late June 2006 the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) issued a media release warning of the dangers of aircraft turbulence.  CASA report that in the United States hundreds of injuries and three deaths have been reported as resulting from turbulence incidents in recent years.

Text Box: In June 2006 CASA reported some recent Australian incidents included:
· two cabin crew injured when they were thrown to the floor on a Boeing 767 flight from Adelaide to Perth which encountered moderate to severe clear air turbulence.
· a crew member injured during cruise on a Boeing 767 flight when light turbulence caused her to fall backwards on to a bench.
· two crew thrown to the floor when a Dash 8 hit moderate turbulence while landing.






NASA’s Aviation Safety program estimates the cost to the airlines from encounters with turbulence runs more than $100 million (USD) a year, with one airline estimating that each encounter of severe turbulence costs an average of $750,000 (USD). An encounter with severe turbulence may result in aircraft damages, flight deviations, passenger inconvenience, flight crew and passenger injuries and hospitalisation, and possible passenger accommodations and expenses. NASA’s Aviation Safety programme estimates that airlines encounter severe turbulence nine times a month, resulting in an average of 24 injuries per month. Besides financial considerations, an improved knowledge of turbulence can also improve safety. 




Text Box: · In late November 2006, four flight attendants were injured when their Boeing 767 hit a patch of severe turbulence about an hour after departing Shanghai, China, for Vancouver.  The flight was diverted to Tokyo.
· Only hours after, a Boeing 777 on Japanese domestic flight heading for Tokyo also ran into severe turbulence, injuring a cabin attendant and a passenger before landing safely at Haneda Airport as scheduled.




These examples illustrate that airlines need to have effective training programmes targeting turbulence, and other weather related issues.  Further indicating the need for the risk of turbulence to be managed, the FAA issued AC No. 120-88 “Preventing injuries caused by turbulence” in December 2005. 

Course Objectives

Calls for improved meteorology training and weather interpretation skills, at all levels and areas of the aviation industry, are not new and have become more frequent as the result of the numerous studies and investigations of weather occurrences.  

With the rapid development of technologies, improved scientific understanding, advancements in weather forecasting processes, dissemination and presentation of weather related data in the last 20 years, there is an increasing need to improve training programmes beyond that of the 1960s to take into account these recent changes.

This workshop will improve knowledge of turbulence and develop practical interpretation skills of traditional and modern technologies, including numerical weather prediction models, with an international focus. The workshop is aimed to encourage participants to develop a systematic method of assessment of weather trends and forecasting; a method that has a scientific basis but one which can also be applied to real-time situations where there are heavy workloads and severe time constraints.

Who should attend?

Pilots and dispatchers, supervisors, and training personnel of regional airlines, air charter, freight and cargo services, and corporate, government, MEDEVAC, SAR, and law enforcement flight operations.

Participant Prerequisites

It is assumed that all participants have a satisfactory knowledge of material set out in their country’s ATPL meteorology syllabus (i.e., FAA, Transport Canada, JAA, Australian CASA, South African CAA).


Course Outline


This course can be tailored to the customer’s area of operation (i.e., Canada, US, Australia, South Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia).


This is an operational course and will embed interpretation of satellite, ground radar, analysis charts (i.e., surface, 500 hPa), METARs, TAFs, TTFs, Numerical Weather Prediction models, and Aerological diagrams (i.e., Skew-T) for greater understanding and application in flight operations.  Real examples from accidents and incident, and significant weather events will also be used. 



Day 1:



Turbulence (Low-Level, Turbulence In and Near Thunderstorms, Mountain Waves)


Group weather flight planning exercise


Day 2:



High Altitude Meteorology


Jet streams - Northern Hemisphere


Jet streams - Southern Hemisphere


Clear Air Turbulence


Group weather flight planning exercise



Take Home

  • Comprehensive course notebook

  • Operational examples and solutions

  • Flight planning checklists and algorithms

  • Certificate of completion

Course Duration, Location and Tuition

Course Duration: 2 days.

Fee: $750.00 USD

Location: Various locations – In-house available.


All Dutcher SMS courses can be delivered to your offices and tailored to your organisation's needs. If you have a group of 5 or more individuals for this course, please contact us and we will provide you with information about bringing this course to your offices at a time convenient for you and your staff. For courses delivered in the United Kingdom, all prices are in UK Pounds (GBP).  For courses delivered in all other European countries, all prices are in Euros. For delivery in other countries, please contact us.


Regular Facilitator:  John Dutcher

For More Information

Download Course Brochure:

Turbulence Workshop (133 kb)

Related Courses:

Short Course in Applied International Aviation Meteorology

Weather Risk Management



© Dutcher Safety & Meteorology Services (2003-2008)
Last Updated: 10 Apr 08