Details of the Southwest Airlines plane that almost crashed on the coast of Hawaii revealed

Details of the Southwest Airlines plane that almost crashed on the coast of Hawaii revealed
Details of the Southwest Airlines plane that almost crashed on the coast of Hawaii revealed

A Southwest Airlines plane nearly crashed near Kauai. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 plane nearly crashed into the Pacific Ocean near the coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai after weather conditions forced the pilots to abruptly change course. The incident, which occurred on April 11, was detailed in an internal airline memo obtained by BloombergNews.

Flight 2786 southwest Airlineswhich started from Honolulu International Airport bound for Lihue Airport in Kauai, experienced moments of tension when the aircraft descended abruptly from an altitude of almost 4,877 meters to just 124 meters above sea level. The situation arose after a failed landing attempt due to poor visibility caused by bad weather.

According to the memorandum of southwest Airlines, the flight captain decided to put the more inexperienced first officer in command of this 161-kilometer stretch between islands. During the event, this officer “inadvertently” pushed the control column, which controls the pitch and roll of the airplane, forward and reduced the speed, causing the aircraft to rapidly descend.

The aircraft’s warning system was activated when it approached dangerously close to the ground, causing alarm among the passengers. “The captain ordered the first officer to increase thrust, which caused the plane to ‘climb aggressively’ at a rate of 2,591 meters per minute,” the report mentioned.

Kit Darbya former commercial pilot and flight instructor, described Bloomberg the experience as “very similar to a roller coaster”; When reviewing the details of the flight, he commented that the plane was “very close” to losing control.

The flight, which was supposed to last about 22 minutes, took off from Honolulu at 6:45 p.m. and, after the incident, returned to Honolulu at 8:09 p.m. local time. Despite the intense experience, no injuries were reported. A spokesperson for southwest Airlines declared to Fox News Digital that “the event was addressed appropriately” and assured that “nothing is more important for southwest than security.”

Flight 2786 had to return to Honolulu after a failed landing attempt. (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) The United States is investigating the incident. This incident joins a series of safety events that have captured public attention as airlines have increased operations in the wake of the pandemic.

It also occurs in a context of increasing pressure on the management of southwest by activist investment firms, due to their poor financial performance and corporate culture.

Finally, the airline concluded in its internal review that adequate vigilance by pilots and better communication between crew members are essential. Among other measures, it committed to review internal and industry data related to its training procedures and protocols to avoid future similar incidents.

Bloomberg compared this event with another similar event that occurred in December 2022, when a Boeing 777 of United Airlines descended abruptly shortly after taking off from another airport in Hawaii. In that incident, the aircraft reached approximately 237 meters above sea level before managing to stabilize and climb again. Both pilots involved received additional training as part of corrective measures.

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