Transcript - Airplane Safety

Ken Moll: Fear of flying is common among travelers and is often the result of unexpected turbulence. Airplanes pass through turbulence many times throughout the day and pilots are often able to navigate around it. Turbulence is often less severe than the bumps we experience in a car or on a boat going over waves. However, many passengers panic when they feel the plane dropping, or see the wings flexing. In reality, the plane's drop is seldom more than twenty feet and in heavy turbulence the drop can sometimes be 50-100 feet. And when it comes to that flexing wing, have no fear. The wings are designed to flex to give travellers a smoother ride.

We met with Wayne Ziskal, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics at Jacksonville University and retired Captain at American Airlines International and here's what he had to say:

Wayne Ziskal: When something like the wing, is as you look outside and you see it flexing a little bit in turbulence, all it us doing is reacting to the air around it, the unevenness of the air. It is built that way.

Ken Moll: While turbulence is normal, it often creates a bumpy ride that can cause passengers who are not wearing their seat belts to be thrown from their seats without warning.

Wayne Ziskal: 33 people a year worldwide get hurt in turbulence conditions. Very few of them are ever fatal.

Ken Moll: The best way to avoid injury during turbulence is to wear your seatbelt, and to wear it properly.

Wayne Ziskal: There is a way to wear your seat belt. Your, the most strong part of your body when you're seated is your pelvic area. When you reinforce your seatbelt around that pelvic area, and make it snug, you are doing the very best you can to stop any unwanted movement.

Ken Moll: As for securing your child under two? The Federal Aviation Administration strongly urges parents to secure their child in a Child Restraint System, such as a car seat or harness, for the duration of the flight. Placing a child on your lap is not a secure mode of travel, especially during unexpected turbulence.

During turbulence, passengers are also at risk of injury from falling luggage from overhead bins. Before takeoff, make sure overhead bins are tightly closed and not over-packed.

Next time you're in the air and feel a bit of turbulence, we hope you remember how safe the plane really is, buckle up and be aware of your surroundings.

I'm Ken Moll for Legal News Network -- your source for safety information.

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