Lufthansa flight encounters severe turbulence, drops thousands of feet, 7 people hospitalised

DailyBiteMar 03, 2023 | 09:54

Lufthansa flight encounters severe turbulence, drops thousands of feet, 7 people hospitalised

Lufthansa flight encounters turbulence, seven people hospitalised. Photo: Twitter, Instagram

A Lufthansa flight from Austin, US to Frankfurt, Germany had to make an emergency landing in Virginia after encountering severe turbulence. The turbulence, which seemed to come without warning, was so severe, that one passenger said he saw a flight attendant hit the ceiling of the plane.  

At one of the drops, he (flight attendant) literally, completely, hit the ceiling and dropped down and was completely horizontal.
- Jazz Kantipudi, passenger (NBCWashington)

Another passenger, Susan Zimmerman, who's also pregnant, said that it felt weightless for a moment. 

It felt like the bottom just dropped out from underneath. Everything was floating up. For a moment, you are weightless.
- Susan Zimmerman, passengers (AP)

Zimmerman says she had her seat belt on and she and her baby are safe. 

What happened: 

  • The plane, Lufthansa Flight 469, was carrying 172 passengers and 12 crew members when it hit turbulence 90 minutes into the journey.

  • The flight was 37,000 feet up in the air when it reported turbulence. 
  • The plane, an Airbus A330, landed at Dulles at about 9:10 pm (US time).
  • Seven people were hospitalised upon emergency landing.
  • On social media, videos and pictures of the aftermath of the turbulence showed snacks and other things strewn on the floor. 

  • Among the passengers were Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila Alves McConaughey.
  • Camila Alves shared a video on her Instagram page of the incident and said that the plane dropped almost 4,000 feet in a few seconds.  

Everything was flying everywhere.
- Camila Alves McConaughey

Missing dog:

  • One man on Twitter was trying to reach out to Lufthansa and other passengers on the plane as his dog was on the plane being transported to him in Singapore. 

  • After a while, he updated that his dog was safe. 


  • Turbulence is unstable air that flows in an unpredictable manner. The most dangerous type is clear-air turbulence which is harder to detect. 
  • Turbulence has been a major cause of injuries on flights according to the 2021 US National Transportation Safety Board report. 
  • Reports also suggest that climate change could be contributing to increasing encounters of turbulences for flights. 
Last updated: March 03, 2023 | 10:02
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