Air cargo company that ditched plane off Hawaii coast is grounded
A freight airline whose plane landed in the ocean off Hawaii has been grounded after investigators examined the company’s safety practices before the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday it would ban Honolulu’s Rhoades Aviation from flying or performing maintenance inspections until it complies with FAA regulations.
The agency did not detail Rhoades’ alleged shortcomings. The company did not immediately respond to phone and email messages for comment.
The decision to ground the carrier, which operates under the Transair name, is separate from the investigation into the July 2 Boeing 737 ditching, the FAA said. Two pilots were rescued by the coast guard after the accident at night.
The two pilots, the only people on board, were seriously injured and were clinging to the packages and the tail of the plane when rescued, authorities said.
The company had one plane still in service this week, a Boeing 737-200 like the one that crashed.
The FAA said it began investigating Rhoades Aviation’s maintenance and safety practices last fall and told the company about two weeks before the crash that it planned to revoke its authority to perform maintenance inspections. .
The company did not appeal the FAA’s decision within the required 30 days if it wanted the case to be reconsidered, the FAA said.
The pilots attempted to return to Honolulu after telling an air traffic controller that they had lost power in one engine and were concerned the other engine on the 46-year-old plane would fail as well.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators have found the wreckage of the plane but have yet to recover data loggers that may contain clues to the cause of the plane’s crash.
Above: U.S. Coast Guard and Honolulu firefighters rescued two people from the downed Boeing 737 inter-island transport plane 2 miles south of Kalaeloa, O’ahu, July 2, 2021.