Asia - Pacific

Probe finds ‘altitude drop’ cause of turbulence in Singapore Airlines flight

Gravitational force of Boeing airplane, en route Singapore from London, also ‘fluctuated’ on May 21 which later landed in Thai capital Bangkok

Riyaz ul Khaliq  | 29.05.2024 - Update : 29.05.2024
Probe finds ‘altitude drop’ cause of turbulence in Singapore Airlines flight


Investigators have found “altitude drop” as the cause behind the mid-air turbulence during a Singapore Airlines flight which resulted in one death and dozens of injuries.

The probe conducted by Singapore’s Transport Ministry released in a report Tuesday said the flight SQ321 from London suffered an “altitude drop of 178 ft (54 meters).”

A team of investigators from Singapore, joined by officials from the US as well as Boeing, said the gravitational force of the flight also “fluctuated.”

Last week on Monday, the Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore encountered severe turbulence, resulting in the death of one passenger and injuries to many others. The flight landed in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

Flight SQ321, a Boeing 777-300ER carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members, was en route from Heathrow Airport to Singapore when it was forced to divert to Bangkok.

The deceased was identified as a 73-year-old British man, who likely suffered a heart attack.

Amid mid-air turbulence, the pilots were “informed by the cabin crew that there were injured passengers in the cabin, (and) the decision was made to divert to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand,” said the report.

Around “17 minutes after the turbulence event,” the report added, “the pilots initiated a normal, controlled descent from 37,000 ft. (11,277 m).”

There was no further turbulence.

The airplane suffered huge damage inside and many of the passengers not wearing seatbelts were injured.

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