Despite being an uncomfortable experience for passengers, turbulence is a normal part of the flying process.
Just like a car driving along a bumpy road, planes regularly encounter small air disturbances which cause them to bounce around.
But one question many nervous flyers have considered is whether a plane can simply drop out of the sky.
Though it is extremely rare for turbulence to cause a plane crash, it is technically possible.
Turbulence can cause a plane to slow down so much that it goes into aerodynamic stall.
This means the engines shut down and the jet begins to fall.
Plane crash threat: Turbulence can cause a jet to stall
Vast improvements in aviation technology have ensured aircraft are built to withstand extreme force, so the chances of stalling are incredibly unlikely.
But an aerodynamic stall is believed to have been the cause of an Air France crash in 2009.
Doomed Flight 447 was flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when it encountered a severe storm.
Investigations concluded the weather event caused the plane to fall below its minimum flying speed, which sent it into a stall that the pilot could not recover it from.
The plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 passengers and crew on board.
This type of crash is extremely rare due to a warning called the ‘stick shaker’, which effectively shakes the control wheel, prompting the pilot to push the nose of the plane forward.
Plane crash: Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009
Without doubt, the single most shared common factor among fearful flyers is turbulence
If the nose tilts in this direction, it is possible to bring the plane out of a stall by allowing it to glide back up to an adequate speed.
For turbulence to cause a stall, it would have to be extreme.
There are varying levels of air turbulence, including light, moderate, severe and extreme.
Severe and extreme turbulence are so rare that most pilots will never encounter them throughout their career.
Planes are also built to withstand several times the force of turbulence that you’re ever likely to experience.
Plane crash threat: Extreme turbulence so rare that most pilots never encounter it
British Airways Captain Steve Allright said: “Without doubt, the single most shared common factor among fearful flyers is turbulence.
“Many different things may cause turbulence, but each and every one of them is known and understood by your pilots.
“Aircraft are tested to extreme lengths when they are first designed and are incredibly strong.”
He reassured passengers that pilots always choose the least bumpy path possible, explaining: “We will always aim to fly at an altitude that has been reported as smooth, though this may not always be possible for a number of reasons such as other aircraft already flying at that level, or a higher level may not be an option due to the weight of the aircraft at that time.
“Whatever the circumstances, you can rest assured that your pilot will find the most comfortable path to your destination without compromising your safety. Just like you, we experience the movement too and would prefer a smoother ride.”