Saturday, August 14, 2010

It Happened Again Yesterday

UPDATE:  11:30am Monday.  Thank you American Meteorological Society for linking to this series of postings on our blog.

For the record, the seat belt signs were never turned off on yesterday's flights from Nashville to Houston and from Houston to Wichita. The former flight was smooth the entire time except on takeoff and landing. While I documented with photos, I decided not to take up more blog space with this topic.

Increasingly, as the AMS blog states, the seatbelt sign is viewed by pilots as the "anti-litigation switch." Prediction: That is going to backfire, big time, some day. You heard it here, first.

--- Original Posting ---

Flew from Washington, D.C. to Nashville yesterday and it happened again. The seat belt sign was on the first 3/4th of the flight even thought it was smooth and we were in clear air:
Photo taken one hour into the flight. While there are clouds below us we were flying in completely clear air.

Yet, the seatbelt sign is on even though the flight is smooth.

Toward the end of the flight, the pilot came on the PA to tell us that he was going to turn off the seatbelt sign so people could "use the facilities" before landing. Below is the photo I took just after the sign went off...

You'll notice the photo is slightly blurred. That is because we were now in light turbulence! Take a look at this photo out my window while the sign was off...
In fairness to the cockpit crew, they turned the sign back on a few moments later before we actually flew into some buildups, but still. They left the seat belt sign on in completely clear and smooth air and turned it off as we were getting into turbulence.

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