CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – After one person was killed after a business jet experienced severe turbulence, it is important to understand what turbulence is to stay safe.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), turbulence is air movement that is created by atmospheric pressure, jet streams, the air around mountains, cold or warm weather fronts, or thunderstorms.

Turbulence can be unexpected and it can happen when the sky appears to be clear. It can also give airplanes a sudden jolt that can injure passengers, as well as flight crewmembers who are not buckled.

Passengers can prevent injuries from unexpected turbulence by:

  • Keeping their seat belt buckled at all times.
  • Listen to the pilots and flight attendants, because FAA regulations require passengers to be seated with their seat belts on whenever the seat belt sign is illuminated during flight.
  • Pay attention to the safety briefing at the beginning of the flight and read the safety briefing card.
  • Use an approved child safety seat or device if your child is under two.
  • Adhere to your airline’s carry-on restrictions.

Professional pilot Dave Strassburg told 22News it’s always a good idea to have that seatbelt on, “Even if it’s just loosely in place, it doesn’t have to cinched down super tight but that’s better than nothing at all if you should get into these unexpected air pockets, at least you have some protection”.

He added pilots do factor wind and turbulence into their flight and take steps to avoid turbulence when they can.