NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


Statement of Jim Hall, Chairman
National Transportation Safety Board

March 31, 1998

Most airline passengers would probably be surprised to know that in the past 15 years, there have been more than 250 turbulence-related incidents on major airlines, resulting in the deaths of three passengers, and serious injuries to 70 others. In addition, at least 850 persons received minor injuries.

While we at the National Transportation Safety Board continue to urge the FAA and the airlines to have a stronger turbulence research program that would result in the development of on-board turbulence detection and alert devices, the seat belt already is a remarkably effective and simple safety device available to every passenger.

I commend American Airlines for taking the initiative to require all passengers to keep their seat belts on when seated during flight, and note that United Airlines will implement a similar requirement. I hope all airlines follow suit.

Turbulence-related injuries are among the most preventable in airline travel. The simple act of fastening your seat belt, I believe, will mitigate the effects of this often invisible danger in the air.

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.