Fatality Reported In Turbulence Incident


CBS News Analyst Robert Sumwalt is reporting that one person died on a Bombardier Challenger 300 that encountered severe turbulence and diverted to Bradley Field in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, on Friday. Sumwalt, who was head of the NTSB before joining the network as its Transportation Safety Analyst, said the aircraft is registered to a Kansas company. He’s also head of the Center for Aviation and Aerospace Safety at Embry-Riddle. A major winter storm moved into the area on Friday bringing high winds and snow. The storm was expected to drop as much as a foot of snow over parts of New England.

The FAA confirmed the aircraft had diverted and issued the following statement to AVweb: “A Bombardier CL30 jet diverted to Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, around 4 p.m. local time Friday, March 3, after encountering severe turbulence. The pilot was flying from Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Keene, New Hampshire, to Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia. Five people were on board. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate.”

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Problem is rich people on charters have an annoying habit of ignoring seat belt signs just like regular airline passengers do. And since there is no flight attendant required on planes of that size it is very difficult for the flight crew to enforce once the briefing is done and flight is airborne. Anyway RIP.

  2. On Friday afternoon, my co-pilot and I were scheduled to fly a King Air 200 plus 4 passengers from Memphis to Lexington, KY (about 1 hr 15 min) that would land at LEX around 4:45 pm EST. Friday morning we cancelled because winds were forecast up to 50 knots at LEX. Forecast turbulence also looked bad.

    The actual surface winds at LEX around 4:30 pm EST were up to 60 knots.

    I am happy to report that the crew and passengers are at their homes in the Memphis area and did not receive any injuries by staying on the ground.

  3. ADSBExchange shows the flight climbing at 2000 ft/min and a ground speed of 320 kts, then over Hatfield, MA at 23450 ft the vertical speed jumps to 3648, 4880 and 5880 over a period of 5 seconds. The FMS was set for 225 and the ground track was 200.

  4. Monday AvWeb seems to have an extra amount of bad news, as this example. I guess it is the accumulation over the weekend. Lets hope that all the charter crews redouble their efforts to inform passengers no matter how wealthy.

  5. I saw something about the trim earlier today—that one escapes me completely. I’ve been in severe turbulence, although not “extreme”, in 50 years of flying, but it never occurred to me that adjusting trim would be a significant factor.

    Seat belts/harnesses, on the other hand, make a big difference in severe turbulence.

  6. msn.com/en-us/news/us/exec-who-served-in-clinton-and-obama-administrations-killed-by-turbulence-on-jet-over-new-england/ar-AA18ifWz?

  7. 🎼 Buckle up for safety buckle up!
    Buckle up for safety, always buckle up.
    Put your seatbelt snug, give an extra tug,
    buckle up for safety, buckle up!

    • If you remember that ditty you’re probably as old as me. All joking aside, only a person of low intelligence would set their carcass in an aircraft seat and remain unbuckled for the duration of the flight. But they exist and the proof is the number of people injured every after an encounter with severe turbulence.