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Protecting Yourself in Turbulence

Date: March 22, 2022

Turbulence is a known hazard in our profession and while turbulence is most often outside of our control, there are actions we can take to help protect ourselves.

As Safety Professionals, our primary responsibility on the aircraft is to manage emergency situations and, where necessary, evacuate the aircraft. Turbulence injuries have the potential to adversely impact our ability to effectively fulfill these responsibilities.

It is crucial that Flight Attendants take immediate action to protect themselves in any turbulence situation as outlined in the EFAOM turbulence SOP. Upon hearing the directive of “Flight Attendants to take your jumpseat” reconsider any immediate instinct to return to your assigned jumpseat. Instead maintain situational awareness, and use the closest jumpseat or open passenger seat. If none of these are available, it may be more prudent to secure yourself by sitting on the floor and holding on until safe to proceed to any available seat.

Keep in mind, service carts should never block access to jumpseats. Items inadvertently placed in a jumpseat during the service have the potential to inhibit our ability to quickly take a jumpseat and fasten the seatbelt and shoulder harnesses in a turbulence related situation.

In an instance where turbulence hits unexpectedly, take action to protect yourself immediately and utilize the options you've developed in that given situation. Proactively assessing options and immediately taking decisive action to protect oneself makes the ultimate difference. Keeping in mind that turbulent conditions differ in various locations onboard, it may also be necessary to proactively take precautions prior to a flight deck command.

While we cannot control turbulence, we can control our reaction to it when it hits. Situations awareness if the best way to protect not only yourself, but others around you.

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