Gainer family of Heddon Greta on Air Canada Flight AC33 which suffered severe turbulence

TRAVEL: Peter, Jack, Josh, Kellie and Reegan Gainor were on board the Air Canada flight that hit sudden turbulence, causing passengers to hit the roof of the plane.
TRAVEL: Peter, Jack, Josh, Kellie and Reegan Gainor were on board the Air Canada flight that hit sudden turbulence, causing passengers to hit the roof of the plane.

A Heddon Greta family was fortunate to escape injury on board an Air Canada flight in which dozens hit the roof due to severe turbulence.

The Sydney-bound flight from Vancouver had to be diverted to Hawaii on Friday morning after a freak weather pattern forced the plane to drop and unrestrained passengers to hit the roof.

More than 30 people, including passengers and flight crew, were injured on Flight AC33, which was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members.

Luckily, Heddon Greta's Kellie Gainer said she, her husband Peter and three children Jack, Josh and Reegan all had their seat belts on at the time and were not among those who needed medical treatment.

"There were quite a lot of people injured," Ms Gainer said. "Some were bleeding."

But in a fortunate coincidence, Ms Gainer said there were two GPs, a surgeon, an ICU nurse, a pediatrician and an anesthetist on board the flight.

"So we were well taken care of," Ms Gainer said.

Ms Gainer said the plane shook "quite dramatically" then dropped for about three to four seconds before it leveled out.

"People started screaming," she said.

There were quite a lot of people injured. Some were bleeding.

Kellie Gainer

"The person in front of me and the person behind me hit the roof.

"The lady in front of me was holding a child, but luckily the child was okay."

Ms Gainer said she held the seat in front of her during the turbulence, and when it stopped she looked across to her children, who thankfully were also okay.

She said air masks dropped down for the people who hit the roof, but not for those who were buckled in.

The incident occurred when the plane was at 36,000 feet, about two hours past Hawaii. The plane was then diverted back to Honolulu where the passengers were given accommodation and food vouchers.

But the news traveled quickly. Ms Gainer said TV crews were already stationed at Honolulu Airport when they landed.

Funnily enough, Ms Gainer said other than the incident, the plane ride was very smooth and the one home from Hawaii was even better.

"Obviously it was just a freak thing that happened," she said.

But Ms Gainer said she was definitely glad to be back on home soil by the time the plane landed in Sydney on Saturday night.

"As soon as we got into Sydney, the flight erupted in applause."