ANOTHER Boeing Close Call: Southwest Flight Has An Insane "Near-Miss"

By Maria Angelino | Sunday, 16 June 2024 10:30 AM
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Image Credit : Simple Flying John Smith

A Boeing 737 Max 8, operated by Southwest Airlines, narrowly averted catastrophe off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii, when inclement weather necessitated a drastic alteration in its flight path, bringing the aircraft perilously close to the Pacific Ocean, a mere 400 feet above the water's surface.

According to the Daily Mail, a flight memo obtained by Bloomberg News confirmed that Southwest flight 2786 took off from Honolulu International Airport on April 11, heading for Lihue Airport in Kauai. The memo detailed how the aircraft plunged almost 16,000 feet to an altitude of 409 feet after an aborted landing attempt due to stormy conditions.

The memo further revealed that the near-miss was a result of a failed landing attempt in Kauai, where poor visibility prevented the pilots from identifying the runway at their descent altitude. Despite the adverse weather, the captain insisted that the 'newer' first officer, with less flying experience, take control of the 100-mile interisland flight.

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The first officer, with fewer flight hours to his credit, made a critical mistake by inadvertently pushing the controls forward, causing the plane to lose balance and descend rapidly after reducing speed. The aircraft's warning system alerted the pilot to the imminent danger of the plane coming too close to the ground.

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The captain, as per the memo, directed the first officer to increase engine power, propelling the aircraft into a steep climb of 8,500 feet per minute. The interisland journey, which should have taken a mere 22 minutes, ended up lasting nearly an hour and a half, with the flight departing at 6:45 pm and landing at 8:09 pm.

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In a statement to Fox News Digital, Southwest Airlines emphasized, "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 Federal Aviation Administration is currently investigating the incident, underscoring the seriousness of the situation.

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