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The most dangerous type of turbulence
00:56 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

A former White House official died as a result of severe turbulence on a private business jet that was diverted Friday to Connecticut, according to authorities and the deceased woman’s public resume.

A Bombardier CL30 jet departing from Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Keene, New Hampshire, heading to Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia was diverted to the Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks around 4 p.m. Friday after “encountering severe turbulence,” the Federal Aviation Administration wrote in a statement to CNN.

That turbulence “resulted in fatal injuries” to one passenger, the National Transportation Safety Board wrote on Twitter.

Three passengers and two crew members were onboard the private jet, the NTSB wrote in a statement to CNN. The conditions of the other people are not known.

The person who died was Dana Hyde, Connecticut State Police said. She served for eight years in the Obama administration and was previously an official at the State Department, according to a biography from Columbia World Projects at Columbia University. She’s a former State Department employee, according to her LinkedIn page. Hyde was taken to Saint Francis Medical Center, in Hartford, Connecticut, state police said in a statement Monday.

Dana Hyde, of Maryland, was the passenger who died, Connecticut State Police said.

The National Transportation Safety Board, the FAA and the FBI will investigate the incident, according to statements from the FAA and Connecticut State Police.

“Investigators have removed the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder and are continuing to gather information from the flight crew, operator and other passengers,” the NTSB wrote in its statement.

The NTSB will release a preliminary report in two to three weeks, the agency wrote in a statement.

CNN has also reached out to the private company that owned the plane and the State Department for comment.

Yes, turbulence can cause deaths

Turbulence is the term for air movement that can give an airplane a sudden jolt and can be particularly dangerous to people not wearing a seat belt, according to the FAA.

From 2009 to 2021, 146 people aboard Part 121 carriers – regular commercial airlines – suffered a “serious injury” from turbulence, defined as an injury that requires hospitalization for more than two days, causes a bone fracture, leads to severe hemorrhage or other damage, involves an internal organ or involves significant burns, according to FAA data.

Of the 146 serious injuries, about 80% were to crew members.

There have not been any turbulence-related deaths on Part 121 carriers since 2009, according to NTSB data. Three people were killed in turbulence-related accidents between 1980 and 2009, CNN reported that year, citing the administration.

However, the private jet involved in Friday’s fatal incident is considered a Part 91 carrier, a general aviation category that includes a wide range of private planes, NTSB spokesperson Sarah Taylor Sulick told CNN.

There have been 38 turbulence-related deaths involving Part 91 planes since 2009, and in almost all of these incidents, the turbulence caused a fatal crash, according to NTSB data.

Though there have been no commercial deaths from turbulence in over a decade, it can still create serious risks.

Flight attendants pushing around 300-pound carts were most likely to get hurt, Sara Nelson, a United flight attendant and the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, a union representing 50,000 flight attendants across 20 airlines, told CNN last year.

“We have flight attendants who have been thrown into the ceiling and then back down several times, resulting in broken limbs. In the aisle, with unannounced turbulence, we had people who lost toes, or lost the ability to work, or sustained injuries that kept them off the job for years,” she said.

Last week, seven people were taken to hospitals after turbulence aboard a Lufthansa flight from Texas to Germany, an airport spokesperson said. A passenger on board described the plane as moving like a roller coaster.

“During dinner service, there suddenly was a wind shear, the plane increased altitude, then we fell 1,000 feet,” passenger Susan Zimmerman said. “It was like unexpectedly free-falling for five seconds off the top of a roller coaster, plates and glassware were up at the ceiling, and my purse from the floor flew behind me to the right.”

And in December, at least 36 people on a Hawaiian Airlines flight were injured, with 20 taken to emergency rooms, after their plane encountered severe turbulence on a flight, authorities said.