In February 2019, a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Honolulu experienced a frightening incident that left passengers shaken. The Boeing 777 aircraft, carrying 194 passengers and 10 crew members, suddenly dropped thousands of feet and nearly crashed into the Pacific Ocean.
The incident, which has only recently come to light, occurred about 45 minutes before the plane was scheduled to land in Honolulu. The aircraft was flying at an altitude of 36,000 feet when it suddenly plunged towards the ocean, dropping 29,000 feet in less than a minute.
According to reports, passengers on the plane were screaming and crying as the plane rapidly descended. Oxygen masks were deployed, and the plane eventually leveled off at an altitude of about 9,000 feet. Some passengers later reported that they believed they were going to die in the incident.
After the plane landed safely in Honolulu, several passengers were taken to the hospital with injuries sustained during the sudden drop. United Airlines released a statement saying that the incident was caused by “clear air turbulence,” which can occur when there is no visible indication of turbulence, and that the crew followed proper procedures to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.
However, a subsequent investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the incident was actually caused by an error in the plane’s computer systems. The plane’s automated system, which controls the aircraft’s altitude, had malfunctioned, causing the plane to drop thousands of feet. The NTSB also criticized United Airlines for failing to properly maintain the plane’s automated system and for not adequately training its pilots to handle such situations.
The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of proper maintenance and training in the airline industry. Airlines must ensure that their planes are properly maintained and that their pilots are fully trained to handle any situation that may arise. Passengers, too, should always pay attention to safety briefings and follow all instructions from flight crew.
In the wake of the incident, United Airlines has taken steps to improve its maintenance procedures and pilot training, and has implemented new safety protocols to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. The airline has also apologized to passengers and offered them compensation for the trauma they experienced.
While the incident was undoubtedly frightening for all involved, it is a testament to the skill and professionalism of the flight crew that they were able to safely land the plane in Honolulu. It is also a reminder of the importance of safety in the airline industry, and the need for constant vigilance and improvement to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew.