People that were on board a United Flight in the skies over Kansas experienced a ride they will never forget. It marks a clear illustration as to the power of thunderstorms on the Central Plains.
Storms climbed from 25,000 feet to 45, 000 feet in about 30 minutes time by some estimates, just as United Flight 967, bound for Los Angeles was passing overhead. That explosion of storms created a wall of turbulance, tossing the Boeing 777 like a toy. Hard to imagine. The jet, cruising between 30-35, 000 feet, may have encountered updrafts, or air rising as fast as 50 mph.
In the accounts I saw from various news organizations, passengers described the bottom dropping out as the plane suddenly dropped, by some estimates, for about a thousand feet, and then was propelled upward in the same way. Passangers were thrown to the top of the air cabin and then hurled back to the floor and onto other passengers.
About 30 people suffered injuries from moderate to critical. Twenty five passengers, including crew members were hospitalized after the plane recovered and diverted to Denver International Airport.
A 100 ton aircraft, flying at the top of the troposphere, tossed like a childs toy. Natures power never ceases to amaze.
Keep those seatbelts tight.....