Boeing 737 cargo plane makes emergency landing on water off Hawaii
July 2 (Reuters) – A decades-old Boeing Co (BA.N) 737-200 cargo plane with two people on board made an overnight emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Honolulu, in Hawaii, early Friday, the United States said the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA said both crew members had been rescued, citing preliminary information.
“The pilots had reported engine problems and were attempting to return to Honolulu when they were forced to land the plane in the water,” the FAA said in a statement.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate.
Transair flight 810 departed Honolulu at 1:33 a.m. local time bound for Maui’s Kahului Airport, but quickly turned back to Honolulu, according to aviation data from FlightAware.com.
Shortly after, the Coast Guard responded to reports of the downed plane south of the island of Oahu with two people on board. At around 2:30 a.m., a Coast Guard helicopter located the debris field and found one of the crew members hanging from the tail of the plane. This person was transported by helicopter to a hospital.
The other survivor was seen on top of some floating packages and was picked up by a Honolulu firefighter rescue boat to be transported to shore, according to a US Coast Guard spokesperson.
Both were being evaluated by medical staff and their current condition was unknown.
The crew knew they were in trouble.
“We lost the number one engine,” said one of the pilots at Honolulu air traffic control in a recording posted on LiveATC, an audio streaming site that broadcasts air traffic control communications.
“We’re going to need the fire department … We’re also going to lose the other engine. It’s very hot.”
Boeing said it was monitoring the situation closely and was in contact with the NTSB. The aircraft was built by Boeing in 1975, according to FAA records. The aircraft was first delivered to Pacific Western Airlines and joined the Transair fleet in 2014, according to Flightradar24.com.
The aircraft was powered by Pratt & Whitney (RTX.N) engines. Pratt & Whitney said it supports the NTSB investigation.
Rhoades Aviation Inc operates under the name Transair, which is one of Hawaii’s largest air cargo carriers and has been in business since 1982. It has a fleet of five Boeing 737s that serve all major airline destinations daily. Hawaiian Islands, according to its website.
Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc (MMC.N), Boeing’s insurance broker, declined to comment.
Boeing shares were trading slightly lower Friday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.
Boeing’s 737 MAX was cleared for flight by regulators late last year after being grounded for 20 months following two crashes that left hundreds dead.
The 737 from Friday’s incident was a generation older than the MAX.
Reporting by David Shepardson in Truro, Mass., And Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Steve Orlofsky and Jonathan Oatis
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