Terror at 40,000ft: From vomiting passengers to air hostesses slammed into the ceiling, the most frightening plane turbulence caught on camera (and pilot’s tips on how to cope if it happens to YOU)

A bit of turbulence is normal on a flight, but some unlucky passengers have had to face the petrifying worst of it.

From vomiting, being thrown out of their seat, getting splattered by loose food and drink, or simply suffering the distress of extreme turbulence, some passengers have had truly horrifying experiences.

Although turbulence is simply the result of changes in the distribution of air currents and pressure around the plane – and poses no major risk to safety – remaining calm in a cylindrical tube at 40,000ft in the air is easier said than done.

Here, MailOnline has rounded up some of the most terrifying instances of extreme turbulence suffered by some very unfortunate passengers.

From passengers gripping on for dear life, fearing the worst, and other horrendous incidents that have caused those on board serious injury, the cases below show some of the worst examples of horror flights.

Smashed into the ceiling 

This is the moment turbulence during a flight from Kosovo to Switzerland sent a stewardess and her drinks trolley crashing to the ceiling.

Video footage from the ALK Airlines flight from Pristina to Basel in June 2019 shows the stewardess serving beverages from her trolley amid what appear to be minor trembles at first.

But a sudden thrust of turbulence then knocks the stewardess into the air along with the trolley, as both go crashing into the plane’s interior above.

Cups, bottles, and other drinks spill over the surrounding passengers but many of them are too concerned screaming in fear or praying to worry about the fact they’re now soaking wet. 

One woman can be seen clasping her hands together as liquid drips from her arms and brow.

The air stewardess in mid-air

A man lifts up in his seat as drinks go flying

This air stewardess was thrown through the air (left) along with cups, sachets of milk, sugar and water from her drinks trolley. A passenger appears to lift up in his seat in the footage (right)

Passengers cling to the seats in front

A woman prays in terror

Passengers are seen bracing against the seats in front after being covered in water. A woman can be seen praying in terror (right)

Passengers can be heard shrieking as the plane buffets. The pilot reportedly attempts to offer reassurance over the intercom – which appeared to fall on deaf ears amid the understandable fear.

The turbulence caused seats to be torn from the floor and seat belts to break, while some passengers were severely injured with burns and cuts.

At the time, the passenger who filmed the incident said the turbulence lasted for around five minutes and started half-an-hour after takeoff from Pristina.

However, they paid complement to the crew at the time who they said remained highly professional throughout the traumatic experience.

Clear-up in aisle one! 

Food and drink stains can be seen all over the cabin, including on the cracked and perforated ceiling panels

Shocking footage taken in the aftermath of devastating turbulence shows meals, trays, cutlery, and drinks vessels littered through the aisles

Shocking footage taken in the aftermath of devastating turbulence shows meals, trays, cutlery, and drinks vessels littered through the aisles on the flight from Luanda to Lisbon earlier this year 

This screengrab shows the moment a passenger's glass of wine flies out of her hand amid brutal turbulence

Wine is seen spattered on the ceiling of the cabin amid turbulence

A short video taken by a Brazilian influencer Diana Assis during the turbulence showed her screaming as the plane was thrown around before her glass, containing what appeared to be wine, shot up into the air amid the force 

Brutal turbulence caused carnage on a flight from Angola to Portugal earlier this year, leaving 10 people injured, lose items thrown around, and food splattered throughout the interior.

Shocking footage taken in the aftermath of devastating turbulence shows meals, trays, cutlery, and drinks vessels littered through the aisles on the flight from Luanda to Lisbon on the Hi Fly flight, operated by TAAG Angola Airlines, in March this year.

Food and drink stains can be seen all over the cabin, including on the cracked and perforated ceiling panels.

In one of the pieces of footage, what appears to be a wine stain is seen splattered across the ceiling of the interior. 

A short video taken by a Brazilian influencer Diana Assis during the turbulence showed her screaming as the plane was thrown around before her glass, containing what appeared to be wine, shot up into the air amid the force.

Later footage showed the sheer force of the turbulence, knocking passengers’ orange plastic trays to the ground, and some even wedged in the gap above the overhead compartment.

At least ten people, including two crew members, were injured on the flight, local media in Portugal reported at the time. Eight of those injured reportedly required medical assistance.

At the time, TAAG said ‘adverse atmospheric conditions’ caused the turbulence, which reportedly struck as the plane was flying over the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Thrown around the cabin 

Video captured the moment people were thrown from their seats as the violent turbulence hit

Video captured the moment people were thrown from their seats as the violent turbulence hit

Piercing screams rung out through the cabin as the turbulence first hit, and some passengers thrown out of their seats and into the air

Piercing screams rung out through the cabin as the turbulence first hit, and some passengers thrown out of their seats and into the air

This is the terrifying moment passengers and crew aboard an Air China flight from Shanghai to Beijing were flung from their seats following a violent thrust of turbulence.

Flight CA1524 in July saw the plane buffet around in the air at 35,000ft and plunge hundreds of feet, causing one passenger and one crew member injury.

Passengers were first seen clenching to the surrounding seats as tremors rocket through the passenger hold.

Suddenly, screams roar out as people and belongings shoot into the air amid the straight drop downwards.

Travellers grip onto the seats in front of them as they lurch upwards, with one appearing to almost hit the ceiling. Red objects, appearing to be either trays or cushions, are seen flying into the air.

One man towards the front of the plane is seen picking himself up off the floor, composing himself, and then getting back into his seat after being knocked around.

It is thought that the reason for the jolt was ‘clear air turbulence’ (CAT) causing the sudden and severe drop which occurred without any visible signs such as clouds, which usually give pilots forewarning.

Passengers at the time described the horrifying experience of being thrown from their seats, with one claiming that the ceiling cracked and an emergency exit sign fell to the floor in the chaos.

As well as passengers being jolted out of their seats, their belongings, including travel pillows and books, were strewn about the cabin.

Screaming and crying 

A flight to Mallorca experienced extreme turbulence as it approached the Spanish island as it was battered by a heavy storm

A flight to Mallorca experienced extreme turbulence as it approached the Spanish island as it was battered by a heavy storm

Another horrific instance of turbulence saw a flight from Alicante to Mallorca knocked around as the plane approached the Spanish island as it was being battered by a heavy storm last month.

The flight from Alicante to the Balearic Island in the Mediterranean experienced a bout of extreme turbulence as the mid-air ordeal left passengers screaming in terror and fearing for their lives.

A passenger filmed the in-flight chaos as a chorus of screams erupted every time the plane jolted. Others cried and vomited as they feared their life was in danger.

The footage also showed the plane shaking violently as passengers clung to their seats, as the plane shook and dropped – causing people to scream, cry and vomit in what felt like an ‘eternal’ moment.

One lady is seen clinging on to the seat in front of her while what appears to be an item of clothing is seen hanging down from the luggage compartments.

However, other passengers look much less distressed, with one even grinning and laughing.

The flight had earlier been delayed due to torrential weather that was battering Mallorca, but eventually departed from Alicante.

One passenger said it was only after the chaos that the the tannoy came on to explain what had been happening and why the turbulence and crosswinds had caused the plane to be thrown.

But if the turbulence wasn’t already enough, this plane was forced to turn around and head back to Alicante after the weather made it too difficult to land. 

It had reportedly made two laps around the island before the pilot made the decision to return.

Passengers suffer broken bones 

A man is seen laying on the floor of a plane. Several passengers aboard the Aeroflot flight from Russia to Thailand suffered broken bones, and three needed surgery, Russian officials said at the time

A man is seen laying on the floor of a plane. Several passengers aboard the Aeroflot flight from Russia to Thailand suffered broken bones, and three needed surgery, Russian officials said at the time

Drink and food cartons are seen knocked over the floor during the flight from Russia to Thailand

Drink and food cartons are seen knocked over the floor during the flight from Russia to Thailand

A group of passengers in 2017 had to endure a truly horrific flight from Moscow to Bangkok where some described being ‘hurled’ to the ceiling.

Several passengers aboard the Aeroflot flight from Russia to Thailand suffered broken bones, and three needed surgery, Russian officials said at the time.  Two passengers required surgery for leg fractures and another needed surgery for broken ribs.

A total of 24 other passengers were also injured, including 14 adults and a child who were taken to hospital.

Footage only revealed the aftermath of the horror flight, but passengers described the worst of the shake where they had to cling on and pray for the devastating turbulence to stop.

The airline said the turbulence occurred in clear skies, meaning the pilots were not able to warn passengers. Those who were injured did not have their seatbelts on, the airline added.

The plane carrying 313 passengers had been due to land 40 minutes after the turbulence kicked in

A video after the plane had smoothed out showed the true horror of the journey.

One man was seen lying stricken across the ground receiving medical attention surrounded by items like cups, trays and bags which had all fallen loose.

The back of the plane is also seen where stewards store food and drink. Crockery and cups appear to be spilt across the ground. The drinks cart is also seen tipped over.

Shaken…and very stirred 

Not wanting to look up, many of the passengers stretched down and kept their hands clasped over their heads

Not wanting to look up, many of the passengers stretched down and kept their hands clasped over their heads

This horrific flight understandably terrified passengers as brutal turbulence kicked in, making many of those on board assume the emergency brace position.

Footage of the unknown flight surfaced last year showing passengers crying out in terror as their seats trembled along with them. 

Not wanting to look up, many of the passengers stretched down and kept their hands clasped over their heads.

The person filming the ordeal was unable to keep their phone still through the constant shakes. The seats could also be seen vibrating rapidly as screams ring out through the cabin.

One particular jolt of turbulence causes a unison of high-pitched wails to cry out.

Some passengers however appeared less concerned than others, maintaining their cool. One man can be seen with his head up looking around as others prepare for what they assume to be the worst.

‘Ok I have never been on a plane and I will never be after watching this vid,’ one commenter wrote on TikTok.

Despite the obvious fear of the passengers in the video, one passenger joked: ‘Just turn airplane mode on.’

Pilot’s tips on how to handle it 

The duo were left clinging to one another for comfort as pilot Jimmy, 33, documented 'the worst turbulence' he's ever seen to TikTok

The duo were left clinging to one another for comfort as pilot Jimmy, 33, documented ‘the worst turbulence’ he’s ever seen to TikTok  

But for those who don’t enjoy flying and understandably fear the onset of turbulence, one pilot has given his professional advice to those travelling on buffeting flights.

Amid a horrid flight of his own, where passengers were seen being jolted from side to side as they tried to cling on to the seats in front on a flight from Italy to Barcelona, Spain, pilot Jimmy Nicholson kept his cool.

Taking to TikTok last week, Nicholson – who was on his honeymoon with new wife Holly Kingston after the couple met on Australia’s 2021 series of The Bachelor – dished out his expert top tips on why turbulence shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

He said his first tip was to remind yourself that turbulence is completely normal and that ‘the plane isn’t going to fall out of the sky’.

Tip number two was to have a bottle of water. The pilot used it to show the water’s relative stillness compared to the chaos and shakes on board. The comparison between the shaking plane and the relatively calm water is intended to show that the turbulence is probably not as bad as you think.

Jimmy said his next piece of advice was to adjust the overhead air so that it is blowing cool above you. He also recommended looking out of the window if you have one near you.

‘We are at the back of the plane, so it’s worst here’, he said during the flight last week.

‘It’s not comfortable. Probably some of the worse I’ve been in.’ He continued, explaining some of the reasons for the turbulence: ‘Could be widespread storms so they just have to pick their path of least resistance and go through it.

‘Nothing to worry about. Planes are built to withstand way worse,’ he concluded.

As the tempestuous flight smoothed out and the journey came to an end, passengers clapped in celebration.