Southwest Airlines Plane Narrowly Avoids Catastrophic Crash in Hawaii

Southwest Airlines Plane Narrowly Avoids Catastrophic Crash in Hawaii

A Southwest Airlines flight narrowly avoided a catastrophic crash off the coast of Hawaii, coming within just 400 feet of the ocean after aborting a landing due to adverse weather conditions. The incident, involving a Boeing 737 Max 8, occurred in April and has since drawn significant attention and an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Southwest Flight 2786, which departed from Honolulu on a short journey to Lihue Airport, faced deteriorating weather conditions that severely obscured the runway as it neared its destination. The flight crew decided to abort the landing due to poor visibility, which resulted in a sudden and alarming descent.

Data from ADS-B Exchange, a flight tracking website, indicated that the aircraft plummeted to within 400 feet of the sea before the crew managed to regain control. The flight was at approximately 1,000 feet altitude when the decision to abort the landing was made. In the moments that followed, the Boeing 737 Max 8 descended at a rate of more than 4,000 feet per second, triggering alarms and a state of panic among the crew.

According to a Bloomberg report, the incident began when the first officer inadvertently pushed forward on the controls while monitoring the thrust level, which adjusts automatically. This caused the plane to descend rapidly. The captain then ordered the first officer to increase thrust, resulting in an aggressive climb at a rate of 8,500 feet per minute. The swift actions of the crew ultimately averted a disaster, and the plane safely returned to Honolulu.

Kit Darby, a former commercial airline pilot and flight instructor, described the ordeal to Bloomberg: “The pilot was pitching up and pitching down with the power and close to out of control — very close. It would feel like a roller coaster ride.”

In a statement to The New York Post, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson emphasized the airline’s commitment to safety: “Nothing is more important to Southwest than Safety. Through our robust Safety Management System, the event was addressed appropriately as we always strive for continuous improvement.” The airline has pledged to review industry and internal data to determine if protocols and training require updates.

The FAA is currently investigating the incident to ensure that all necessary safety measures are in place and to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

This close call highlights the importance of rigorous training and quick decision-making in ensuring passenger safety, reinforcing the aviation industry’s ongoing commitment to maintaining high safety standards.

Sources By Agencies

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