Delta flight has emergency landing after severe turbulence injures 5

Extreme turbulence hurts five on terrifying Delta flight: Passengers tell how plane nosedived TWICE as drinks carts and bags hurtled around the cabin at 34,000ft before emergency landing in Nevada

  • Delta Air Lines flight 5763 experienced severe turbulence Wednesday afternoon
  • It was forced to make an emergency landing in Reno, Nevada, after five passengers were injured when frightening turbulence hit at 34,000ft
  • The flight was headed to Seattle, Washington, from Santa Ana, California
  • Three of the injured passengers were taken to the hospital 
  • The National Weather Service had warned of dangerous flying conditions over the Sierra Nevada over the next few days

Five people were injured when a Delta Air Lines flight experienced severe turbulence and was forced to make an emergency landing. 

Flight 5763 was headed to Seattle, Washington, from Santa Ana, California, Wednesday when crew reported the frightening turbulence at 34,000ft, which led to the twin-jet landing in Reno, Nevada, around 1pm. 

Three of the injured passengers were taken to a local hospital and their condition was not immediately know, according to Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesperson Brian Kulpin. 

A video posted to Twitter from a man inside the aircraft shows frazzled passengers after the landing. A beverage cart is seen on its side in the aisle, liquid splattered on the ceiling and personal items scattered throughout the cabin. 

Delta Air Lines flight 5763 experienced severe turbulence Wednesday. This photo shows the chaos on board after the flight made an emergency landing

Five passengers were injured on the flight due to the turbulence and three were taken to the hospital 

‘Crazy turbulence and injuries, but the @delta crew handled it perfectly, even the emergency landing,’ passenger Joe Justice wrote on Twitter.

‘We did a nose dive, twice,’ he added. 

Photos from the cabin show one woman with a bruise on her elbow and holding a napkin to her bloodied head after injuring it during the turbulence.

Justice’s daughter reenacted the bumpy flight saying ‘coffee spilled, but it was okay.’ 

The flight was being operated by Compass Airlines and had 59 passengers and four crew members on board.  

The uninjured passengers were provided pizza and soda as they waited for their next flight to their original destination. 

An emergency responder is seen holding a little girl who was a passenger on the flight 

One passenger called the turbulent flight chaotic and scary 

Passenger Joe Justice tweeted out a video of the chaotic scene but commended the crew for handling the situation 

‘There were people who were shaken up, understandably,’ Kulpin said.  

Passenger Dave Macias wrote on Instagram after the flight: I’ve been on a lot of flights over the last year and a half and this was by far the wildest flight I’ve ever been on. 

‘Thanks @delta and @#renoairport for making the best out of a horrible situation and getting us squared away as quick as possible.’

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‘We apologize for this experience as we get customers to Seattle,’ the airline said in a statement.

The National Weather Service had warned pilots of ‘downright dangerous flying conditions with moderate to extreme turbulence’.

‘This is a particularly dangerous situation for aviation in the lee of the Sierra over the next few days,’ the weather service said Wednesday. 

A winter storm warning is in effect for the Lake Tahoe area through 11pm Thursday.

Emergency responders took three passengers to the hospital after the Nevada landing 

The flight route from Santa Ana to Reno is seen above on the web site Flight Aware

The aircraft which was flown is an Embraer ERJ-175 (like the one at LaGuardia Airport in New York seen in the above stock image)


Turbulence, or clear-air turbulence, which is what air travelers experience on commercial flights, is caused by the convergence of air masses that travel at widely different speeds.

Air travelers will sit through turbulence when the aircraft reaches the high troposphere – the atmospheric region that lies between 23,000 and 39,000 feet above sea level.

CAT normally takes place in area where there are no visual objects, like clouds.

It is far more common in areas where the jet streams are present.

The degree to which air temperature changes over a distance in a given direction can also increase the risk factor for turbulence.

The change in temperature affects air density, which can also affect wind velocity.

Bands of air that travel at different speeds can create a chaotic affect.

The degree of turbulence is measured by the change in altitude experienced by the airplane as it attempts to navigate its way out of so-called ‘air pockets.’

Light turbulence is when the aircraft either rises or falls 3ft – which is barely noticable to passengers.

Moderate turbulence is when the aircraft’s altitude shifts either way by a factor of 9-18ft.

Severe turbulence, which is rare, can suddenly change the aircraft’s altitude by up to 90ft.

In severe turbulence, the aircraft may be momentarily out of control.

Then there is extreme turbulence, where the plane is violently thrown about and is almost impossible to control. 


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