At least 35 people suffered minor injuries after an Air Canada flight hit a severe patch of turbulence.The plane - which had 284 people on board - was travelling from Vancouver to Sydney on Thursday but had to be diverted to Hawaii.Medical staff examined the injured after it landed at Honolulus airport at 06:46 local time (16:46 GMT).The Boeing 777-200 jet "encountered sudden clear air turbulence... two hours past Hawaii", the airline said.It added that it was arranging hotels in Honolulu until a new flight to Australia could be arranged.Why is in-flight turbulence so unpredictable?
Satellite to help planes avoid turbulence
"We hit turbulence and we all hit the roof, and everything fell down... people went flying," Jess Smith, a passenger on board the flight, told local TV station KHON."Some people that werent strapped in, you saw them rise in the air and hit their heads on the roof and everything, so it was quite intense," another passenger told the station.
What is Clear Air Turbulence?CAT - clear air turbulence - occurs in otherwise calm, clear blue skies, without any visual indication such as clouds.It is caused when masses of air moving at different speeds meet, and cant be identified by the naked eye or conventional radar.Pilots use reports from other aircraft, passed on via air traffic control, to keep track of patches of CAT.
Alex Macdonald, from Brisbane, told Canadian broadcaster CBC News the passengers on board were "extremely shocked"."I saw the people ahead of me hitting the overhead baggage compartments and then just slamming back into their seats," she added.