This is the flight between 2 South American countries considered the most turbulent in the world: air force changes every 2×3 | Latin America | Chile | Bolivia | Andes Mountains | United States | Peru | Argentina | What are the other most turbulent flights in the world? | What are the intensities of turbulence? | | World

Crossing certain areas by plane can be a real test of nerves. Passengers often experience severe jolts, steep descents, and climbs that can turn a pleasant ride into a stressful experience. Turbli analyzed more than 150,000 flight records and concluded that the most turbulent is between two countries in South America.

Why is this air journey so turbulent and what should passengers anticipate when choosing this route? In the following text, we will break down the causes of the strong instability that distinguishes flights on this route, including the geographical and climatic elements that influence this circumstance, and we will contrast it with other air routes famous for their challenges.

What is the most turbulent flight in the world?

The title of the flight most turbulent in the world It is disputed between several routes, one of the most notable contenders being the route between Santiago de Chile and Santa Cruz, Bolivia, through the Viru Viru airport.

This flight, operated by various airlines and Singapore Airlines, is famous for the intense turbulence experienced when crossing the Andes Mountains. The atmospheric conditions in this region of South America, combined with the mountainous topography, create an environment prone to abrupt changes in air stability.

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Turbulent flights of the world. Photo: Bloomberg

Why is the flight over the Andes Mountains turbulent?

The Andes mountains It is one of the highest and most extensive mountain ranges in the world, and its influence on climate and atmospheric patterns is significant. Wind currents in this region are notoriously strong and vary in 2×3 speed and direction. These currents, known as mountain winds, can generate severe turbulence as planes pass through different layers of air. Furthermore, the high altitude of the mountain range causes fluctuations in the atmospheric pressurewhich contributes to instability.

Another crucial factor is the orographic wavess, which are formed when winds flow perpendicular to mountains. These waves can cause sudden rises and falls in the aircraft, making the flight even more turbulent. The convergence of winds from different directions also plays an important role and creates areas of turbulent air that aircraft must pass through.

Andes mountain range in Argentina. Photo: GeoExpert

What are the intensities of turbulence?

The turbulence intensities They vary according to several factors such as altitude, wind speed and topography. Generally, turbulence is classified as mild, moderate and severe.

On flights over the Andes Mountains, it is common to experience moderate to severe turbulence. According to the United States Weather Service, this turbulence can cause sudden movements that result in discomfort for passengers and challenges for the crew.

What are the other most turbulent flights in the world?

In addition to the flight over the Andes Mountains, other turbulent flights Notable ones include routes in mountainous areas such as the Himalayas and the Rocky Mountains in North America. The website Turbli, which analyzes flight turbulence data, places routes in Alaska and certain trajectories in Japan in its 2024 ranking of most turbulent flights. These flights share similar characteristics: high altitudes, rapid changes in atmospheric pressure, and strong wind currents.

  • Santiago (SCL), Chile – Santa Cruz (VVI), Bolivia
  • Almaty (ALA), Kazakhstan – Bishkek (FRU), Kyrgyzstan
  • Lanzhou (LHW), China – Chengdu (CTU), China
  • Centrair (NGO), Japan – Sendai (SDJ), Japan
  • Milan (MXP), Italy – Geneva (GVA), Switzerland
  • Lanzhou (LHW), China – Xianyang (XIY), China
  • Osaka (KIX), Japan – Sendai (SDJ), Japan
  • Xianyang (XIY), China – Chengdu (CTU), China
  • Xianyang (XIY), China – Chongqing (CKG), China
  • Milan (MXP), Italy – Zurich (ZRH), Switzerland.

What is the influence of the altitude of the mountain range on turbulence?

The high altitude of a mountain range significantly influences the generation of turbulence due to various disturbances in the airflow. When the wind encounters a mountain range, the air is forced to rise rapidly, creating atmospheric instability. This upward motion can cause updrafts and downdrafts that contribute to turbulence, especially in tall, steep mountains.

Additionally, mountain waves, or orographic waves, form when air flows over a mountain range, creating patterns of wave motion in the atmosphere. These waves can propagate to high altitudes and distances, generating severe turbulence. Aircraft flying through these waves can experience abrupt changes in altitude and speed, resulting in uncomfortable and potentially dangerous flight.

Wind shear, caused by significant variations in wind speed near mountain ranges, is another factor that contributes to turbulence. Mountains can cause abrupt differences in wind speed or direction over short distances, creating a shear environment that generates turbulence. Furthermore, the combination of low temperatures and low pressure at high altitudes can increase air instability, favoring the formation of updrafts and downdrafts that intensify turbulence.

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