Airlines are expected to introduce a new seatbelt rule which will urge passengers to keep their seatbelts fastened at all times.

The new rule comes after a Singapore Airlines passenger tragically died after the aircraft was hit by severe turbulence on May 21. The traveller, Geoffrey Kitchen, 73, passed away, whilst 30 other holidaymakers were injured onboard. Safety teams at several airlines are said to be considering ways to encourage their customers to stay strapped in their seats, even if the seatbelt sign indicates otherwise.

It is still unclear what caused the turbulence on the Singapore Airlines flight from Heathrow, but companies are believed to have signed up for a ‘turbulence aware programme’. The training is run by the International Air Transport Association. The UK Civil Aviation Authority, which is in charge of the regulation of aviation safety in the UK, already advises people to keep their “belt fastened throughout the flight, and must do so whenever the ‘seat belt’ sign is on.”






Around 30 people were injured during the flight


Around 30 people were injured during the flight
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X)






Bradley Richards suffered serious injuries


Bradley Richards suffered serious injuries
(
Bradley Richards / SWNS)

Sir Tim Clark, president of the airline Emirates, told The Times: “We’ve had our own fair share of issues. Not as bad as Singapore Airlines, but let’s be quite honest, it’s a real race and the whole industry is now upping in the game with regard to making sure that passengers are strapped in. We are looking at all the protocols.”

Virgin Atlantic told the publication: “The health, safety and security of our customers and people is always our top priority. We keep our policies under constant review and take all industry occurrences into consideration to continuously strengthen our safety management approach.”

Following the tragedy, Singapore Airlines amended its guidelines and said that staff will no longer be offering hot drinks and meals when the seatbelt sign is on. Singapore’s Transport Ministry said investigators, including those from the US National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, had compiled a chronology of events based on the preliminary analysis of the flight’s data and cockpit voice recorders.






Geoffrey Kitchen sadly died on the plane


Geoffrey Kitchen sadly died after the aircraft was hit with turbulence
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REX/Shutterstock)






Passengers said they were left frightened for their lives


Passengers said they were left frightened for their lives
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Viral Press)

Early findings show that as the plane cruised at about 37,000 feet over southern Myanmar, it began to experience slight vibration due to changes in the gravitational force, the ministry said. The jet’s altitude increased — likely caused by an updraft, not by any action of the pilots — causing the autopilot system to push the plane back down to the selected altitude, the report said.

“The aircraft experienced a rapid change in G (gravitational force) … this likely resulted in the occupants who were not belted up to become airborne” before falling back down later, the ministry said. “The rapid changes in G over the 4.6 second duration resulted in an altitude drop of 178 feet … this sequence of events likely caused the injuries to the crew and passengers.”

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/716885503/4PI5XkAHlwJwa3Rg?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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