View Full Version : How would you interpret this flight graph? (My flight this morning)

05-08-2014, 09:24 PM

So this was my flight today. It was a rough ride for most of the trip, through thunderstorms, but the really weird part was we seemed to stall about 2/3 of the way in. I've never experienced something like that at altitude. You can see on the graph we lost a LOT of speed suddenly, gained some back, lost it again, then eventually got back to cruising speed.

Pilot didn't explain. Anyone have an idea what happened -- like if this would be an intentional response to something?

I'm more curious than scared, since obviously we landed OK.


05-09-2014, 12:00 AM
Couple of things of note on that flight. You'll note that you never climbed above 29,000. It was probably rougher even higher. Second of all, where were you seated? It's often way worse in the back than it is over the wings (fishtailing).

Finally, the speeds do seem slow, but I don't think you were quite as slow as was marked. The data can be somewhat inaccurate at times. No doubt you slowed down a lot, I suspect for traffic sequencing, and it was quite abrupt, so perhaps it can feel like a stall.

Also feeding in to this flight was a strong jet over MSP. Sometimes there is just no smooth altitude to fly at.

05-09-2014, 10:33 AM
I'd say of the 50 or so flights I've been on in the past year, this was one of the top two in terms of roughness. (The FAs were not allowed to get up for the first 45 min.) It wasn't that awful, but definitely stands out. The pilots kept coming on the intercom to reassure us they were doing their best. :)

The abrupt slowing was a truly odd experience. The engines sounds cut out completely, and it felt like we were gliding in slow motion. The whole thing lasted only a few minutes. We also turned around and headed back to Minneapolis around that time, doing a full circle before going toward NY again.


05-09-2014, 09:45 PM
My guess is that they were pretty close to violating minimum separation between planes so they had to slow down in a hurry, and idle would be enough to slow it down (but I doubt they would stall). Circling back like your flight did is uncommon but I've seen it before. I've seen some of those that looks like a pen was doodling on a piece of paper. Part of the fun of flying into very congested airspace.