On Sunday, a major turbulence, caused by the vortex sent the Qantas airplane flying from Los Angeles into nosedive for 10 seconds. The vortex, or the “wake turbulence“, is caused by another aircraft, that has flown nearby. This particular situation emerged after an aircraft, which took of just two minutes earlier than the QF12 flight, created the wake vortex in the air.
The flight with a seating capacity of 484, was three-quarters full. The passengers remember the situation as a horrifying 10 second free fall over the Pacific Ocean. Terrified people held hands and believed that the plane was crashing and is taking them to their deaths.Vortex
One of the passengers from the QF12 flight remembers that the plane suddenly had a “ free fall nosedive". It was "… a direct decline towards the ocean” for about 10 seconds.
“It was between 1½ and two hours after we left LA and all of a sudden the plane went through a violent turbulence and then completely up-ended and we were nosediving,” she told the reporters.
“We were all lifted from our seats immediately and we were in a free fall. It was that feeling like when you are at the top of a rollercoaster and you’ve just gone over the edge of the peak and you start heading down.
“It was an absolute sense of losing your stomach and that we were nosediving. The lady sitting next to me and I screamed and held hands and just waited but thought with absolute certainty that we were going to crash. It was terrifying.”Check out airplanes creating vortices in this incredible video:
Fortunately, nobody on the QF12 flight was injured. But such accidents have happened in the previous years, some of them causing crashes and deaths. The flight safety experts at SKYbrary claim that the wake vortexes cause severe turbulence. It is caused by another flight passing by in a not sufficient distance.
However, according to the representative of Qantas, there was no breach of the safe distance standards. The planes were apart by about 20 nautical miles and 1,000 feet in altitude.