Many flights are relatively routine except for abnormal turbulence — occasional moderate or several tense minutes of severe turbulence. Aside from being a little shaken, everyone comes out ok and the event is never given second thought.
However, several days or weeks may pass when maintenance discovers damage during routine maintenance checks, such as a distorted exhaust shield assembly, distorted leading edge nacelle plates or nacelle skins.
Only by questioning pilots can maintenance personnel learn of such routine and/or severe turbulence encounters.
Severe turbulence is often defined as: "Turbulence in which the aircraft is violently tossed about and is impossible to control. It may cause structural damage."
Not only should turbulence reports be filed with ATC to inform other pilots, the encounter should also be reported to our maintenance personnel so that they can verify that the aircraft is still airworthy for others to fly.