There must be a better way of phrasing this, but: given the passenger's experience of riding through the air, what are the outside conditions that are responsible for that experience?

For example, if the passenger experiences a smooth, quiet ride (like driving on a smooth, newly-paved road), then the external conditions are perfectly still air.

What about the cases of:

  • a smooth but noisier passage through the air (like driving over a section of road with a different surface - not bumpier, just noisier)

  • consistent low-level but high-frequency vibration (like driving over a section of road with a regular pattern of deformation)

  • harder, occasional knocks and bumps (like driving over a road of variable quality)

  • hard, regular, sustained shaking (like driving fast over a rutted road)

  • repeated, irregular, harsh movements and lurches (like driving violently off-road)

  • a single, sudden jolt (like driving across the transition between road surfaces at different levels) - I've experienced this when crossing the transition between land and sea, and when intersecting the trail of another aircraft

  • a sudden very-high magnitude movement that comes out of the blue, of the kind that causes objects to fly around the cabin

To be clear, I am speaking of straight, level flight in clean configuration, in which different sound and vibration as experienced in the cabin are caused by conditions (pressure, movement, speed, turbulence, patterns of the air) outside - what are these conditions in each case?

  • $\begingroup$ noisier: You're siting aft of the engines. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Aug 1, 2017 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec That could be an explanation if the new noise were associated with your suddenly being moved out of business class into row 57, but not otherwise... $\endgroup$ Aug 1, 2017 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ ...or if the throttle is advanced ;) $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Aug 1, 2017 at 12:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec In what sense is the operation of the throttle a meteorological condition, as specified in the question? $\endgroup$ Aug 1, 2017 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking about different 'types' of turbulence? If so, it's fairly close to this question or this one. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Aug 1, 2017 at 14:24


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