Details of the accident on board an Airbus A320 aircraft operated by a “hybrid” by Starflyer, were recently published in an investigation report by the Japan Transportation Safety Board.
The aircraft was on a short flight between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture when it encountered turbulence on final approach. During the incident, the aircraft rocked from side to side, as a result of which one of the passengers, who was sitting in the back of the aircraft, was pressed into the armrest.
The victim told investigators that he immediately felt pain in the right side of his body, and since the pain did not go away, after a few days he decided to go to the hospital for examination. Doctors discovered that the passenger suffered a broken rib as a result of an external impact.
Japanese accident investigators say they have already held conversations with everyone involved in the accident, analyzed the weather conditions that day.
Now the investigation will focus on what was the main cause of the incident, and whether there was a possibility avoid injury.
Despite the bizarre nature of this accident, the vast majority of injuries sustained by passengers and crew from turbulence are due to not wearing seat belts.
Last Sunday, 36 passengers were injured when a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix to Honolulu entered an area of severe turbulence. Of these injuries, 11 were considered serious, and 20 passengers and crew had to be taken to hospital for further treatment.
Most of those injured at the time of the accident were not wearing seat belts, despite the fact that the scoreboard was lit at the time “Fasten your seat belts.” Some were thrown into the air, hitting the ceiling and suffering serious head injuries.
In another incident on Monday, five passengers on a United Airlines flight from Rio de Janeiro to Houston were hospitalized after the plane descended 150 meters in just a few seconds after the plane hit the unexpected turbulence.
In fact, the threat of unexpected turbulence is the reason airlines and flight safety experts advise passengers to wear their seat belts, even when the flight is proceeding normally, and the “Fasten seat belts” sign went out.