Six passengers and two flight attendants were hospitalized after heavy turbulence forced the diversion of an American Airlines regional flight from Florida to Tennessee in Alabama.
Turbulence Over Florida Leads To Injury, Diversion On American Airlines Regional Flight
AA3609, operated by Envoy Air on behalf of American Eagle, AA’s wholly-owned regional subsidiary, took off five minute early Wednesday from Tampa International Airport (TPA). Its destination was Nashville (BNA) and the fight was operated by an Embraer E-175 jet.
But the flight hit unexpected turbulence over the Florida panhandle that was so severe several onboard were injured, prompting a diversion to Birmingham – Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM).
Of the 52 passengers, two pilots, and two flight attendants onboard, six passengers and both flight attendants were taken to an area hospital with “minor” injuries, though no further details were provided by American Airlines.
American Airlines dispatched another E-175 aircraft to Birmingham, still operating AA3609, where passengers departed at 8:08pm and arrived at Nashville at 9:07pm.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt When Seated!
Thankfully, injuries were only minor, but this flight represents a great reminder that it is wise to fasten your seatbelt when seated, even when the seatbelt light is off.
Pilots will generally advise you to do this, but I find myself failing to put it back on when sleeping, which represents a foolish risk compared to buckling it loosely around you. Even on a loose seat belt will help to constrain your body in case of unexpected turbulence versus not seatbelt at all.
Eight were hospitalized after an American Airlines regional flight hit unexpected turbulence over Florida. While injuries were minor, the incident is a perfect example of why we should wear our seatbelts when seated on an airplane.
image: SkyHigh757 / Wikimedia Commons