a plane was 100 meters away from crashing into the water

a plane was 100 meters away from crashing into the water
a plane was 100 meters away from crashing into the water

On April 11, 2024, Southwest Airlines Flight 2786 was approaching its destination, Lihué Airport, Hawaii, when it experienced a severe drop in altitude, descending hundreds of meters in a matter of seconds before recovering above the surface of the ocean.

The plane almost crashed and was brought under control just in time. No passengers were injured.

The incident occurred more than two months ago, but only came to light publicly on Friday after Bloomberg reported that Southwest sent a memo to pilots about the incident.

Bloomberg reported that the memo indicated that an inexperienced first officer was flying at the time and inadvertently pushed the control column forward.

Flight tracking data shows that the plane descended at a speed of more than 1,200 meters per minute while just 180 meters above sea level. The Boeing 737 Max 8 flew as high as 100 meters above the ocean before quickly ascending.

According to reports, an error by an inexperienced pilot almost ended in tragedy.

“Nothing is more important to Southwest than safety,” the airline said. “Through our robust Safety Management System, the event was addressed appropriately as we always strive for continuous improvement.”

In a brief statement to CNN, Southwest acknowledged the incident but did not address the memo or explain why the dramatic situation occurred.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it was made aware of the contentious situation and opened an investigation.

Following the incident, the plane landed safely in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association had no comment.

The flight was an inter-island “hop” from Honolulu’s main airport to Lihué Airport on the neighboring island of Kauai. The internal memo said the pilots decided to abort a landing there due to bad weather, according to Bloomberg.

Tracking data shows the plane then returned to Honolulu.

Previous incidents

This last situation occurred shortly after another plane from the same company suffered “significant damage” after performing what is known as a Dutch turn, which It occurs when the tail of the plane slides from side to side and the plane moves in a way that causes the wings to push up and down, in a figure eight.

The incident occurred during a flight from Phoenix to Oakland in May of this year, according to Bloomberg. The plane was sailing at 10,000 meters from Arizona to California, and, after problems, managed to land safely without any injuries.

In December 2022, a United Airlines flight departing from another Hawaiian airport also plunged into the ocean amid poor weather conditions, coming within 200 meters of disaster, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB concluded that the pilots miscommunicated about the plane’s flap settings and it almost ended tragically.

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