Photo: @ YouTube / akino33 Aviation Video Channel
China Eastern Airbus A330 was performing flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Kunming when the aircraft encountered severe turbulence including two large jolts causing the aircraft to experience multiple rapid descends and climbs (in excess of 5000 fpm) reaching a minimum of FL349 as well as injuries to 26 people on board.
The aircraft continued to Kunming for a safe landing about 5:45 hours later. Four passengers were taken to hospital with serious injuries (fractures and head injuries), 22 passeners with minor injuries.
Passengers reported that many passengers were not buckled in about 6 hours prior to landing in Kunming when turbulence lasting for about 10 minutes set in and resulted in two very large jolts having everyone not being buckled in hitting the cabin ceiling and being thrown back onto the seats. Between the large jolts there were a number of other lesser jolts.
The airport reported 4 passengers received serious injuries including fractures and head injuries, 22 received minor injuries (mainly bruises), 2 more passengers were examined.
The airline reported without identifying when and where the tubulence took place, that the fasten seat belt signs were illuminated however not everyone complied with the instruction. A number of passengers needed to be taken to hospitals.
Radar data show the aircraft was enroute at FL390 about 260nm northeast of Tyumen at 19:05Z at 470 knots over ground, a minute later the aircraft descends through FL376 at 490 knots over ground, slows to 364 knots over ground climbing through FL385 at 4000+ fpm, another minute later at 09:08Z is at FL349 at 475 knots over ground, climbs through FL360 at 5000+fpm a minute later, then stabilizes and climbs back to FL390 at about 480-490 knots over ground and climb rates less than 1000 fpm levelling off at FL390 again about 9 minutes after the aircraft departed FL390.