You are enjoying an after-meal drink, comfortable in your seat on the plane when the seat belt sign goes on, and immediately the aircraft starts to rock and hits a few bumps.
What you experienced is something called turbulence. According to Weather.gov, turbulence is an irregular motion of the air resulting from eddies and vertical currents.
Private pilot and tech entrepreneur, Stefan Drury, shared his insight on the topic in a YouTube video titled “What is turbulence? Pilot explains all”.
“Turbulence sucks,” he says. “As pilots, we actively try to avoid turbulence. I mean, it’s a really inefficient way to fly, it’s uncomfortable, and in some instances, it can be a serious jeopardy to the safety of the aircraft.”
He described the four types of turbulence, namely thermal turbulence, mechanical turbulence, jet stream and other aircraft turbulence. Drury encourages flyers not to be nervous about turbulence.