Alaska jet hits turbulence, flight attendants slightly injured

Posted: Monday, June 12, 2000

SEATTLE (AP) -- An Alaska Airlines jet en route from Seattle to Los Angeles encountered strong wake turbulence Sunday, slightly injuring three flight attendants.

The three flight attendants and four passengers were not in their seats when Flight 236 encountered the turbulence caused by the wake of another jet about 9 a.m., company spokesman Jack Evans said.

''(The plane was) in the process of banking,'' Evans said. ''... They were thrown about quite a bit.''

He said two of the flight attendants suffered bruises; a third was taken to an L.A. area hospital for X-rays after the plane landed safely at 9:16 a.m.

No one else was hurt. There were 77 passengers and five crew members on board the Boeing 737-400.

The plane later continued its flight to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico without further incident, Evans said.

''We'll be filing the appropriate reports with the appropriate agencies, if we haven't already done so,'' Evans said.

Last September, 15 passengers sustained minor injuries when a United Airlines shuttle flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco plunged dramatically after encountering wake turbulence, a common disturbance caused by air stirred up by another plane.

In May 1998, 17 passengers were injured, two of them hospitalized, when an Australian jetliner ran into heavy turbulence on a flight from Japan.

Like many other airlines, Alaska encourages passengers to keep their seatbelts fastened even when the seatbelt sign is not lit up, Evans said -- a policy that has been in effect for about a year.

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