One of the toughest tests for airline pilots is recovering from a mid-air ‘upset’.

The pilots flying QF 72, the Qantas A330 on this afternoon’s Singapore-Perth run passed that test when a violent upset injured dozens of passengers and some cabin crew and caused an emergency landing at Learmonth.
It isn’t known what caused the incident, but the prime suspect would be clear air turbulence or CAT, which with even the best technology available, is very difficult to detect in advance. Recovering from sudden encounters with the ‘cat’s claws’ and other causes of mid-air upsets is part of recurrent training in simulators.

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