Our Firm Files Federal Lawsuit After Extreme Turbulence Hospitalizes 30plus Aboard Horrific Turkish Airlines Flight TK-1 to JFK

March 12, 2019
Abram I. Bohrer

The airplane accident lawyers at Bohrer & Lukeman have filed the first federal lawsuit in a harrowing case of extreme turbulence aboard Turkish Airlines Flight TK-1 from Istanbul to New York City on March 9th, 2019. Passengers feared for their lives as the THY Boeing 777-300 jet airliner, tail number TC-JJG, dropped unexpectedly, roughly 40 minutes before the flight was scheduled to land at JFK International Airport. The resulting turbulence launched passengers and crew through the air and into the aisles, walls and ceiling of the aircraft, as well as catapulting service items and personal belongings about the cabin. Video taken directly after the event shows broken ceiling panels, stained overhead bins, and partially-deployed oxygen masks, as well as the faces of the terrified passengers.

“Nobody announced it… so we figured out something was wrong,” said passenger Sead Nikaj in an interview with ABC News. “Then I see people start flying on the plane. Then seeing blood all over. I had one of the ladies next to me, she really fell down from her seat on the floor and all her back was completely bloody, while someone that was working in the airplane, she cracked her leg… completely.”

“Suddenly the plane was going down very fast,” passenger Mohammad Hoque told the New York Post. “ Turning right and left. For 20 minutes, it was shaking. People were upside down. People were falling. Everyone was screaming. We thought this is the end. We were praying.”

In an act of stunning disregard for the safety of the 326 passengers and 18 crewmembers aboard, the pilot of the 10-hour flight originating from Istanbul Ataturk Airport ignored warnings of severe turbulence over New England from the U.S. National Weather Service Aviation Division. Even worse, the crew failed to inform the passengers of the avoidable risk their pilot was taking. Passengers were not prepared for the ensuing chaos that resulted in a declaration of emergency by the pilot, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Following the agonizing event, dozens of ambulances and emergency medical personnel met the flight upon its 5:35pm EST arrival. Thirty passengers required immediate treatment and were rushed to local hospitals, some on stretchers, others requiring oxygen. In addition to the traumatic impacts and lacerations sustained by these passengers, one flight attendant suffered a broken leg.

“There’s no reason that this aircraft should have been surprised by and unprepared for this level of severe turbulence,” noted aviation attorney Abe Bohrer in a press release issued from his Columbus Circle office. “There were severe weather warnings posted for the region, and these airplanes have sophisticated weather radar to prevent passengers from being placed in this degree of danger.

“At 40 minutes out, the aircraft should have been preparing for final approach and landing. A proper announcement should have been made to advise these passengers to be in their seats with seatbelts securely fastened. Given the number of passengers and crew who were not seat belted, someone really messed up.”

According to the Aviation Herald, the international jetliner on which the terrifying incident occurred was grounded for 6 hours, after which it departed on Flight TK-12 with return service to Istanbul.

This is not the first time aviation accident law firm Bohrer & Lukeman has advised and/or represented clients in a case against Turkish airlines, having previously investigated two incidents of in-flight injury.

The airplane accident and injury attorneys of Bohrer & Lukeman have represented passengers injured during international flights for over 25 years. The New York-based firm has successfully brought and won cases against many of the major airlines and are recognized worldwide for handling the landmark case of Magan v. Lufthansa, which defined the rights under the Montreal Convention of international passengers injured by turbulence.

Bohrer & Lukeman will continue to closely monitor and investigate the March 9th case of severe turbulence aboard Turkish Airlines Flight TK-1 as well as cases of injury and/or wrongful death related to turbulence and all other causes involved in aviation accidents. Bohrer & Lukeman has successfully represented victims and their families in domestic and international general and commercial aviation airplane accidents and injuries for over 25 years.

Full Press Release Below:

Our Firm Files First Federal Lawsuit in Turkish Airlines Flight TK-1 Turbulence Case