Winter storm Riley unleashed its fury on a flight headed for Washington Dulles International Airport, causing most everyone on-board to vomit.
The unrelenting nor'easter brought 70 mph winds, and the resulting turbulence wreaked havoc on the passengers and crew aboard United 3833 from Charlottesville to D.C., according to the National Weather Service Aviation Weather Center.
The report released from the Center, read, "VERY BUMPY ON DESCENT. PRETTY MUCH EVERY ONE ON THE PLANE THREW UP. PILOTS WERE ON THE VERGE OF THROWING UP."
Official NOAA aircraft report amid high winds: "PRETTY MUCH EVERY ONE ON THE PLANE THREW UP" https://t.co/cd83EL6atf— Justin Fenton (@Justin Fenton) 1520010177.0
The massive storm's heavy wind, rain, and snow worsened due to what meteorologists refer to as the "bombogenesis" phenomena. The bomb cyclone had been hovering in the atmosphere for an hour when the 50-passenger aircraft got caught in its grip.
The National Ocean Service described the conditions that generate a bombogenesis:
[It] occurs when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure. This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone.
There were no injuries during the flight, and everyone disembarked safely.
Unfortunately, the storm was less forgiving for those back on terra firma.
Ladies and gentlemen.. PLEASE... This not only endangers your life, but the lives of first responders… https://t.co/GNlF8dmcf8— Quincy Police (@Quincy Police) 1520007698.0
According to the Weather Channel, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, and Virginia reported two deaths, including a 6-year-old boy in Chester, Virginia, and an 11-year-old boy in Putnam Valley, New York.
More than 1.9 million residents lost power, which could take up to a week to restore.
Governors of Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia declared a state of emergency, and residents living near coastal waters were told to evacuate and not return to their homes until Saturday afternoon.
Mechanic St. in #PortsmouthNH continues to #flood just before high tide. #noreaster #nhwx #streetphotography… https://t.co/endtSGaMpc— Rich Beauchesne (@Rich Beauchesne) 1520007784.0
Airlines including JetBlue, American, Delta, and Southwest canceled more than 4,000 flights since Friday morning, 500 of which were grounded on Saturday while the storm persisted.
Despite all the upchucking during flight, the airborne passengers may have been the lucky ones.
Is there a lesson to be learned here?
@justin_fenton Note to self: don't eat before my flight later https://t.co/R68NrbHPzr— D'Qhalla (@D'Qhalla) 1520014136.0
It's important to have a backup plan.
@Jpnelson26 @justin_fenton Thankfully planes are equipped with Autopilots if the human pilots fall ill. https://t.co/7i1dBZ7Gxn— MandarIN C😎gnito🤘🔥❄🌊 (@MandarIN C😎gnito🤘🔥❄🌊) 1520016999.0
After catching wind of the messy flight, driving across the country seemed a more appealing mode of transport.
@justin_fenton @chrislhayes @jamesheath I was just about to book a flight...looking into the 40 hour drive to Portland instead 🤓— Deanna (@Deanna) 1520031146.0
People's sympathies were with the cleanup crew.
This is from a pilot report near D.C. this morning. Reports this AM of wind gusts 60-70mph and even higher in spots… https://t.co/VoL0anQ3vE— Cindi Clawson (@Cindi Clawson) 1520013977.0
@CClawsonWNDU https://t.co/zRg6117oJY— Ian Hamilton (@Ian Hamilton) 1520016156.0
Passengers confirmed the nightmare.
@Radiant_Weather It's true 1 by 1 we all started getting sick. I felt fine until the person next to me puked then our row ran out of bags🤢🤢— Carmelo (@Carmelo) 1520010240.0
Grateful my mom has landed safely @Dulles_Airport after a cross-Atlantic flight from Munich. Feeling sorry for the… https://t.co/w7ngrkoRaC— Abby Maslin (@Abby Maslin) 1520022485.0
Is the convenience worth the risk?