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Home > Air Turbulence > Is there a quantitative grade for turbulence?
Is there a quantitative grade for turbulence?
Weather - Air Turbulence
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 21:02

Mahalo Capt Lim!

Is there a quantitative grade for turbulence? I have seen definitions that varied from "losing momentary control" to "something positive on the accelerometer" to "a 2000 fps (feet per second) drop through 400 ft" to "ride them cowboy" on the CVR (cockpit voice recorder).

If it is this varied, then how can there be any determination of when a shaken plane needs to be pulled offline for inspection?

Mahalo for your time and consideration,

Kyle W,
Hawaii.

Hi Kyle,

Yes, there is a quantitative grade for turbulence. They range from 0 to 06. (There is also another more detailed scale for pilots for their flight planning). Generally, they are as follows:-

00 : Nil turbulence.
01 : Light
02 : Light to Moderate
03 : Moderate
04 : Moderate to Severe
05 : Severe
06 : Extreme

When to determine when an airplane will be taken off line for inspection after encountering severe turbulence? Normally, when severe turbulence is encountered, a pilot would make a report of the incidence and the airplane would be physically examined by the Engineers to determine if it ought to be taken off line for further repairs.

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