“There were no warnings about this particular piece of air,” he said.
The seat belt sign was on at the time but some of the injured people were not wearing seat belts sir. Snook said. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, he said.
“We will have to go back to the investigation to see what other measures were taken beyond the seat belt sign,” he added.
Thomas Vaughan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said thunderstorm forecasts had been issued at the time of the turbulence.
“Probably, they flew into a thunderstorm,” he said.
Kaylee Reyes, a passenger on Flight HA35, told Hawaii News Now that turbulence came out of nowhere, causing her unbuckled mother to be thrown into the cabin on the ceiling.
Other passengers have experienced similar horrific turbulence in recent years, resulting in injuries to those on board. In 2019, 30 people were injured and treated for severe turbulence on a flight at New York’s JFK International Airport. In 2015, 21 passengers were injured on an Air Canada flight when sudden severe turbulence threw them from their seats.
“Fortunately there were no fatalities or other serious injuries,” Honolulu Emergency Services Director Jim Ireland said at a news conference.
“It’s the holidays and everyone wants to be here for the holidays or to go home,” he said. “It’s usually when people are happy. So it’s obviously something that wasn’t planned in their journey here.”
Livia Albeck-Ripka Contribution report.