Aerolineas Argentinas flight AR1303 left Miami International Airport with a full load of 192 passengers at 9:16 a.m. local time Thursday. Judging from a readout posted by Tom Podolec Aviation on Twitter Friday, the plane encountered turbulence about five hours into the flight.
Plane staff were in the process of serving lunch when the Airbus A330 began rocking and lurching, flinging around everything not bolted down. Photos from the plane show a cabin in disarray, with oxygen masks deployed and random items scattered across the floor.
The airline confirmed in a statement that day that 15 people were injured during the event, with eight requiring hospitalization after the plane landed. The air carrier said they had a medical team ready on the tarmac in Argentina to assist passengers who "suffered blows or bruises due to the sudden movements that this type of atmospheric conditions causes."
Aerolineas Argentinas #AR1303 from Miami experienced severe turbulence during cruise portion of the flight to Buenos Aires. 15 people suffered minor injuries, 8 of which were transported to hospital. 192 passengers on board. Photos indicate meals were being served at the time. pic.twitter.com/gTBuJ5hcO1— Tom Podolec Aviation (@TomPodolec) October 19, 2018
Aerolineas Argentinas explained in the statement, "Turbulence occurs when two air masses of different temperatures or different velocities collide. These can produce sudden movements in the aircraft according to their intensity, although they do not in any way jeopardize the safety of the aircraft."