Charlotte (00:00):
… flight upsets are now the leading causes of airline cabin injuries. More than 70 people were injured and one passenger died last week when a Singapore Airlines flight hit turbulence. A further 12 people were injured yesterday on a flight from Doha to Dublin.

Charlotte (00:15):
Lawyer and former president of Aviation Law Association of Australia and the [inaudible 00:00:20], Peter Carter, says these types of injuries exceed other accidents, and he joins me now. [inaudible 00:00:27], what happened in those moments on the plane, and what is the passenger reaction?

Peter Carter (00:34):
Hi, Charlotte. Well, it’s a terrifying situation to be in because it happened so suddenly, and in seconds people are in a terrified state, some of them weightless up on the ceiling, and at that moment they really believe that that’s the end of their story, and then suddenly, just as suddenly, they crash down onto the floor or onto a seat and sustain very serious injuries, so it’s a terrifying experience.

Charlotte (01:07):
In a legal world what are the rules here? You’ve been hurt mid-flight. Are you eligible for compensation or is there international aviation rules? How does it work?

Peter Carter (01:18):
Well, it depends on the terms of your ticket issued by the carrier to some extent. It also largely depends on the convention, whether or not the countries to whom you’re flying or where you’re flying from are signatories to the Montreal Convention.
In the Singapore Airlines one, the Montreal Convention applies. Passengers were entitled to compensation up to about 175,000 US dollars for proven injuries, they’ve got to prove the loss. Seriously injured people will have a loss greater than that. There’s a question as to whether they can recover above the $175,000. They can only do that if… Well, they can’t do that if the airline shows that the incident was no part of their fault, so that leads to the question what caused the turbulence and whether it could have been avoided.

Charlotte (02:11):
It would be interesting to see what happens with those recent flights. Thank you very much for that very interesting information there. That is a lawyer and former president of Aviation Law Association for Australia and New Zealand, Peter Carter.
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