A United flight from Hawaii crashed to within 800 feet of the Pacific Ocean

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A United flight from Maui to San Francisco plunged to less than 800 feet over the Pacific Ocean shortly after takeoff in December, an apparent near-crash and previously unreported safety incident revealed by the airline industry publication, the Air Current .

Analysis of flight tracking data revealed that the Boeing 777-200 had reached an altitude of about 2,200 feet when it entered a steep dive, traveling at about 2,000 feet per minute. After diving below 775 feet, the flight recovered altitude and traveled to San Francisco without further problems.

The entire ordeal took place in torrential rain, lasted less than 45 seconds, and was not mentioned in air traffic control radio call recordings reviewed by the Air Current.

United “closely coordinated with the [Federal Aviation Administration] And [Air Line Pilots Association, International] on an investigation that eventually led to the pilots receiving additional training,” United spokesman Josh Freed said in a statement to the Guardian about the incident. “Safety remains our top priority.”

The pilots had a combined 25,000 hours of flight experience and had “fully cooperated” with the investigation, Freed added.

United’s flight came in the nick of time during a period of turmoil for the US airline industry. Also in December, a Hawaiian Airlines flight preparing to land in Honolulu experienced “severe turbulence”. At least 36 people were injured during that flight, with 20 taken to hospital and 11 in serious condition.

The storm system involved would create a major winter storm across the mainland US, resulting in a complete meltdown of Southwest Airlines, canceling thousands of flights and stranding travelers over the Christmas holiday weekend.

Two recent serious safety incidents have also led to an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

In January, two planes at New York’s John F Kennedy Airport nearly collided when an American Airlines plane crossed the runway ahead of a Delta plane that was accelerating for takeoff. The American Airlines pilots involved in that case have refused to give taped interviews to investigators and have been served subpoenas forcing them to testify, the NTSB said in a statement. a statement last week.

And last Sunday, two planes at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport had a near miss when air traffic control cleared them to land and take off on the same runway at the same time.

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