Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.
On 22 March 2018, an Airbus A320-232 was on descent into Cairns, Queensland (Qld) when it encountered severe turbulence. A cabin crew member in the rear of the aircraft sustained a broken ankle as a result.
The aircraft was flying in and out of cloud at the time of the occurrence and the pilot reported that the weather radar only showed green patches, indicating nil significant turbulence. The seat belt signs were therefore not illuminated.
The pilot reported that no turbulence was forecasted or expected. No encounters with turbulence had been reported prior to the occurrence.
The ATSB research report Staying safe against in-flight turbulence (AR-2008-034) details that while turbulence is normal and occurs frequently, it can be dangerous. It is rarely a threat to passenger aircraft or to pilot control of the aircraft. In a typical turbulence incident, 99% of people on board receive no injuries. The report discusses what you can do to stay safe.
About this report
Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.
|Date:||22 March 2018||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Release Date:||31 August 2018||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||Serious|
|Type of operation||Air Transport High Capacity|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|