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Hurricane Fall saw passengers bounce off plane’s ceiling

July 15, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

When an Air Canada Boeing 777-200 flying non-stop to Sydney on Friday slammed into sudden invisible violent turbulence at 34,000 feet, screaming passengers bounced off the ceiling while flight attendants flew through the air, forcing the flight to make an unscheduled diversion and stopover in Hawaii so injured passengers could be taken to hospital.

Members of Australian country-rock band Hurricane Fall, based in the NSW city of Newcastle, were aboard flight AC33 after touring Canada.

“Hey everyone,” the band posted on its Facebook page after the plane diverted to Honolulu.

“Just letting you all know that we are OK after the incident on our flight home, Pepper [Pepper Deroy, lead vocals and bass] has copped some nerve damage in his forearm/elbow but after being treated on the tarmac and then a follow up in hospital he’s got the Thumbs Up, we are all super grateful to the AirCanada staff for their professionalism and swift response. This was an eye opening incredibly frightening experience, but we’re grateful we are all safe and sound ❤️ We’ll be home soon ! #wearyourseatbelts

Band member Tim Hickey told the Sydney Morning Herald he had seen a flight attendant walking the aisle with a trolley when the plane plunged “and she went flying and the cart went up in the air and there [was] coffee all over the ceiling”.

Hickey said “it was just this scene from a horror movie” inside the aircraft.

“I just saw everyone in the cabin that wasn’t wearing a seatbelt – [they] basically flew up into the air and smacked the roof. It was horrifying – absolutely violent.”

The cause sounds like classic Clear Air Turbulence (CAT), invisible to radar and flight crews – until it strikes.

The plane landed in Honolulu in the middle of the night (1.45am Friday AEST), where emergency crews stood ready to help.

At a press conference in Honolulu, Hawaii fire chief Glen Mitchell said his unit had recorded a total passenger count of 233. Yahoo News quoted Mitchell referring to 37 injuries, with 30 people transported to local hospitals. Nine of those injuries were considered “serious,” and the other 21 were “stable.”

FlightRadar24 shows Air Canada flight AC33 turn back and head for Honolulu after hitting the devastating turbulence

In an interview with CBS News, a shocked passenger said: “A lot of people hit the ceiling, and a lot of screaming. The seat in front of me, they – a girl hit the plastic overhead and actually snapped and broke it. I think one of the stewards was badly injured when a trolley fell on top of them.”

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Written by Peter Needham

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