Turbulent Air Canada flight recounted by B.C. teen: ‘heads hit the ceiling’
Victor Good had never been on such a long flight before — so when the trip took a turbulent turn, he thought that was normal.
The 15-year-old from Nanaimo, B.C., who spends time in the Yukon during the summer, was travelling on an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Sydney — a trip that was expected to take approximately 13 hours.
He was on his way to see friends in Canberra.
“I was in the washroom and then it was sort of bouncing a little,” Good told Global News.
“I figure I would start walking back.”
Good said he was halfway through the plane when it dropped, hitting turbulence at approximately 10,972 metres (36,000 feet).
“All the people that were standing, their heads hit the ceiling,” he said.
“I just sort of put my arms in the way so my head didn’t hit the ceiling.”
Good then fell down on a chair, and a female passenger sitting in it: “I apologized afterwards.”
“I’ve never been on a plane ride this long, so I thought it was completely normal and it happens,” he said.
“So I just walked back to my seat and started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
Good realized this wasn’t so normal when he heard glass shatter in first class. He said wine glasses broke apart when the plane dropped.
“When they said, ‘are there any doctors on board?’ I sort of clued in that there were injuries,” he said.
Good said passengers remained calm despite the turbulence.
“I was surprised that no one freaked out,” he said.
Most of the injuries he could see were concentrated in first class.
“The people with the glasses are the ones who got really injured,” he said.
“The people in their seats just got some neck pain, it wasn’t that bad.”
Soon, passengers learned that the flight would divert to Honolulu. It landed there at 6:45 a.m. local time.
Altogether, 37 people including passengers and crew were hurt on the flight, with 30 taken to hospital and nine people in serious condition, according to Honolulu health officials.
Air Canada, however, said it was advised by medical personnel that the injuries were “considered minor.”
“All 37 people were subsequently assessed, treated and have now all been released from local hospitals in Honolulu,” said a statement from the airline.
Air Canada went on to say that the flight to Sydney is expected to take place at 12 noon local time in Hawaii on Friday with a separate plane and crew.
“The aircraft in Honolulu will undergo a maintenance check prior to returning to service,” the airline said.
Good will be in Australia until July 22, when he expects to fly back to the Yukon.
As for his flight to Hawaii, he wasn’t sure that his reaction matched the circumstance.
“If I had known it was abnormal, I probably would have been more scared and panicky,” he said.
- With files from Sarah Vernon
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