Violent turbulence on JetBlue Flight 429 injured several people who were flying from Boston Massachusetts to Sacramento California. The flight was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Rapid City, South Dakota.
People reported being thrown around when the flight entered a dark cloud. It was like a scene from a horror mover. One passenger said, “we were thrown around like rag dolls”. Even passengers who had their seat belts on were tossed about. A female flight attendant who was in the galley was reported to have been thrown up to the roof, hit her head and neck, and suffered a concussion. The rear toilet was also ripped off from its housing.
The heavy turbulence in the cloud moved the aircraft upward then steeply downward. Passengers reported getting an “elevator feeling” after the aircraft was suddenly pushed down. Overhead compartments flew open and luggage flew out. Laptops, phones, and even eyeglasses were strewn all over the aisles. The seatbelt sign was on when the turbulence hit the aircraft.
Turbulence creates difficult flying conditions for pilots due to sudden change in wind speed and direction. Even though turbulence is not visible the aircraft was flying in an area where thunderstorms are frequent. Certain types of clouds are known to be associated with violent turbulence. It is not reported as to why the pilots opted to fly through the dark turbulent cloud.
The flight was carrying 146 passengers plus 5 crew members. Among the injured were 2 crew members. 7 passengers and the 2 crew members were taken to Rapid City Hospital. 15 others were taken by bus to the same hospital for further evaluation.
All 24 passengers that were taken to hospital were released by Friday morning. The other 122 passengers had completed their trip by Friday morning as was reported by JetBlue.