What Causes Airplane Turbulence?

One of the biggest concerns most people have about flying is encountering turbulence while in the air. Whether it involves a few minor bumps or more extended rocking, it can elicit responses from passengers on board ranging from mild annoyance to panic and fear. At Cirrus Aviation, our aviation experts have more than 40 years experience in charter flights. Whether you are taking a private jet in Las Vegas for business or pleasure, our goal is to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. There are some situations where turbulence cannot be avoided. Understanding what it means and the underlying causes can provide the reassurance you need to get through it comfortably.

Common Causes of Turbulence

Turbulence occurs due to changes in airflow, causing the plane you are riding in to bump or shake during a flight. The National Weather Service advises that it is one of the most unpredictable factors pilots face and can generally be attributed to one of the following causes:

  • Mechanical turbulence: This occurs due to friction between the air and ground over rough terrains, such as mountains. Wind circulations are so common in these regions that they are referred to as mountain waves.
  • Thermal or objective turbulence: On hot, sunny days, warm air rises from land. As colder air from above descends, it can create a layer of clouds and often causes turbulence.  
  • Frontal turbulence: When warm, moist air develops and meets a cold front, the combination of air masses can create a bumpier ride for airplane passengers.
  • Wind shear: This involves a change in wind speed or direction and is a common cause of turbulence during a flight.    

In addition to the above, clear air turbulence is another condition pilots encounter.  Most turbulence occurs in cloudy conditions, but clear air turbulence can happen on clear days when flying at altitudes over 15,000 feet.

Dealing With Turbulence on Your Flight

Turbulence can be alarming to passengers and can last for varying periods. When you take a private jet in Las Vegas through Cirrus Aviation, our pilots are well versed in handling conditions leading to turbulence and minimizing the impacts our passengers are likely to experience. Business Insider reports that as air is constantly moving and circulating on even the clearest days, some turbulence is to be expected on just about any flight you take. If it does occur, the following are tips to help you get through it with a minimum of discomfort:

  • Follow the pilot and flight attendant’s instructions regarding staying seated during turbulence.
  • Make sure your seat belt is fastened and personal items are secured.
  • Take deep breaths and remind yourself of what you know about turbulence, which can calm any anxiety or fear you may experience.


Contact Us Today for More Information about Charter Flights in Las Vegas

At Cirrus Aviation, your comfort and convenience is a top priority. One of the many advantages of charter flights is the impacts of turbulence on passengers will likely be less than when taking a crowded commercial flight. To book a private jet in Las Vegas, call or contact us online today.