A recent flight from Phoenix to Honolulu experienced serious turbulence and resulted in 36 passengers requiring medical treatment. There were reports of thunderstorms in the region at the time of the incident. Almost half of the passengers were reported to be in “serious condition.” The medical first responders reported passengers suffered lacerations, loss of consciousness, bruising, and other serious head injuries. Among those taken to the hospital was a 14-month-old child.
Were you or a loved one injured in the recent Hawaiian Airlines turbulence accident? Do you need help recovering compensation for these injuries? Work with our experienced aviation accident attorneys today. We zealously represent clients who have suffered injuries in plane crashes, turbulence-related incidents, and more. Call 713-800-1200 to see how our firm can assist you and your loved ones.
Preliminary Investigation and Potential Causes
278 passengers and ten crew members were on board Hawaiian Airlines Flight 35 in Phoenix traveling to Hawaii. The incident happened on Sunday morning, 15 to 30 minutes before the HAF35 landed at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the flight reported turbulence at around 10.35 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time.
The EMS and the American Medical Response responded swiftly to a “mass casualty emergency” at the Honolulu airport just after 11 a.m. Sunday.
“Medical care was provided to several guests and crew members at the airport for minor injuries, while some were swiftly transported to the local hospital for further care,” according to Hawaiian Airlines.
A teenager and a 14-month-old baby were among the 17 passengers and three crew members who were taken to the hospital.
The “fasten seatbelt” sign was on at the time of the incident, Hawaiian Air Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jon Snook informed reporters. “Sometimes, these air pockets occur with no warning. It’s rare to have that level of extreme turbulence. It was a very extreme case of mid-air turbulence,” said Snook.
The COO also added that he was grateful for the support the emergency services provided. He added that the weather conditions in Hawaii have been unstable recently, creating challenges for airlines.
One traveler reported to Hawaiian broadcaster KHON2 that although the severe turbulence only lasted a few seconds, it was long enough to cause injuries to the passengers.
“It was just rocky. And then, it quickly just escalated to, like, the point where we’re shaking so much that we were, like, pretty much floating off our chairs,” Jacie Hayata Ano said.
After the turbulence subsided, a crew member of the HAF35 came over the speaker system and requested any trained medical or military professionals to assist with the injured passengers, said Ano, who was unharmed.
“I’m thankful that there were people that stepped up and helped because some of the staff needed it…everyone was pretty much helping each other. Checking on each other and picking up stuff,” Jacie added.
“We believe that the flight may have gone through a thunderstorm, which may have caused the severe turbulence,” NWS meteorologist Genki Kino said. “During that time, there were scattered thunderstorms everywhere,” he added.
Snook said there was a lot of unstable air surrounding the islands. He, however, stressed that such severe turbulence is uncommon. Also, the airline managed to divert three other flights on Sunday due to a lack of visibility.
According to the airline, a “thorough inspection of the aircraft” is being done to determine what happened and how much altitude was lost before the plane is put back into service.
The National Transportation Safety Board and The Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.
What Injuries Can I Recover Compensation For?
Airline accidents can result in serious personal injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Dislocated joints
- and More.
We are here for the victims of the Hawaiian Airlines turbulence accident. We understand how difficult this time can be and we want to make the process of recovering compensation as efficient and smooth as possible. Our attorneys will help you calculate the economic and non-economic damages you incurred to ensure you are correctly compensated.
Who Can I Hold Responsible For My Injuries?
Aviation law is extremely complex; especially international aviation law. Navigating the complexities of this law on your own while negotiating with insurance companies and trying to manage medical bills, travel, and other aspects of life can be a stressful feat.
With years of experience handling aviation accident claims, our founding attorney, Nomaan K. Husain, is confident in his abilities to hold negligent pilots, maintenance crews, air traffic controllers, airlines, airports and their staff, and others accountable for your and your loved ones’ injuries.
Let our firm take on the work of negotiating your settlement, communicating with the airline and their insurance company, and helping you recover what you need to get back on your feet.
What is Turbulence?
Turbulence is one of the most unpredictable occurrences in weather and it can be very difficult to navigate and manage while in flight. Turbulence is defined as the unsteady or violent movement of water or air. This movement can be slight and cause airplanes to experience minor shaking, bumps, or swaying. On the other end of the spectrum, it can also be very extreme and result in severe structural damage, loss of control of the aircraft, rolling, spinning, and more.
Why Turbulence Is Usually Not Something To Worry About
Turbulence is caused by variations in wind speed and direction, and it can range from light to severe. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including weather patterns, jet streams, and the presence of mountains or other physical barriers. Turbulence can be particularly common in the vicinity of thunderstorms, as well as over mountains or other rugged terrains.
During a flight, turbulence can cause the aircraft to experience sudden and unpredictable changes in altitude and direction. While most turbulence is relatively mild and causes only minor discomfort to passengers, severe turbulence can be more unsettling and can even cause objects to become dislodged or spill.
It’s important to note that turbulence is a normal part of air travel and is not usually a cause for concern. Modern aircraft are designed to withstand the stresses of turbulence, and pilots are trained to navigate through it safely.
However, it is always a good idea for passengers to pay attention to the safety briefing provided by the crew and to follow their instructions in the event of turbulence or any other emergency situation—according to the FAA, about 58 people on average in the United States are injured every year during turbulence when not wearing their safety belts.
To avoid inflight injuries, the FAA requires all passengers to fasten their seat belts and be seated when:
- The airplane leaves the gate and proceeds to take off
- The “fasten seat-belt sign” is displayed during the flight
- The airplane is landing.
What Are the Different Severities of Turbulence?
Turbulence is categorized into four levels of severity; light, moderate, severe, and extreme.
- Light: This level of turbulence is fairly common for commercial and private flights and passengers to experience. This often results in slight bumps or shaking that does not cause any serious changes in motion for either the passengers or the aircraft.
- Moderate: This level does not result in any loss of control of the plane but can be more noticeable than light turbulence. Some unsecured objects and luggage may shift around.
- Severe: At this level of turbulence, the airplane may be out of control for a few moments. Passengers will likely feel severe strains on their seatbelts and may have to hold on to the armrests or seat in front of them to remain steady.
- Extreme: When an aircraft experiences turbulence at this level, it is likely impossible to maintain or regain control of the plane. The plane may experience structural damage, passengers will be violently tossed or shaken, and will likely suffer painful injuries as a result.
Husain Law’s Inflight Injuries Experience
Husain Law is one of the world’s biggest and most renowned aviation accident law firms. We have a 99% success rate and are recognized as one of the top 10 law firms by the National Trial Lawyers Association. We have represented numerous victims of airplane crashes in courts across the United States. With a combined 40 years of experience, we take exceptional care of our clients and make sure they receive the justice they deserve.
At our firm, we have one rule: we win, or it’s free. We operate on a contingency fee basis, so you will not pay unless we get a recovery for you.
Contact Husain Law’s Aviation Accident Lawyers Today
Our legal team consists of five attorneys who have graduated from top law schools and have been practicing for several years. Our founder, Nomaan K. Husain, has more than 20 years of experience and is dedicated to fighting for his client’s rights worldwide in the most tragic injury claims.
Our firm has successfully handled numerous aviation cases, burn injuries, traumatic brain injury tragedies, personal injuries, and wrongful death cases.
In each case, we put together a team of litigators, investigators, outside experts, and staff to meticulously examine and prepare every aspect of our claim’s liability and damages in order to establish the accident’s cause, identify the parties at fault, present the strongest defense, and win the highest possible compensatory award for the plaintiffs we represent.
We take great pride in our personalized approach to cases. We understand that every case is different and requires unique attention. If you were involved in the Hawaiian Airlines accident that occurred on the flight from Phoenix to Honolulu, do not hesitate to contact our firm. We have the resources and experience you and your loved ones need to handle your case. Contact us online or by calling us at (713) 800-1200 today.
To learn more about aviation accidents and our experience handling these claims, visit our aviation accident page here.
Talk to a Firm That's Earned a National Reputation
SCHEDULE A FREE CASE REVIEW TODAY!