Boeing 737 Comes Down In The Sea Near Honolulu

It appears that a Boeing 737 carrying cargo has crashed into the sea just off the coast of Honolulu. The aircraft involved is a 46-year-old Boeing 737-200 cargo plane registered as N810TA. Rhodes Aviation operates it in Transair colors. Initial reports suggest that the aircraft was safely ditched, with both pilots already rescued.

Boeing 737, Hawaii, Air Crash
The aircraft involved in the incident pictured in front of an American Airlines plane. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

What do we know so far?

As is usual shortly after an incident, the facts are pretty thin but coming in fast. It seems that N810TA came down in the ocean just off of Hawaii shortly after takeoff. According to a tweet shared by Reuters’ David Shepardson, the FAA has confirmed the aircraft involved.

The aircraft made an emergency landing in the ocean at roughly 02:30 following engine trouble. It seems that there was not enough altitude to return to Honolulu, prompting the aircraft to ditch in the sea. Two pilots were onboard the aircraft. It has been reported that both survived and have been rescued by the US coastguard.

Boeing 737, Hawaii, Air Crash
The aircraft ditched close to the Honolulu coast. Photo: RadarBox.com

According to data from RadarBox.com, the aircraft took off from Honolulu at 01:33 in the morning, with initial tracking data from the service showing that the aircraft reached a maximum altitude of just 2,125 feet, having departed. The airline’s decent path looks reasonably slow and steady, suggesting that the pilots could glide the aircraft down to the ocean in a controlled manner. Flight tracking data stops at around 01:45, with a final recorded altitude of 75 feet.

Boeing 737, Hawaii, Air Crash
The aircraft’s altitude and speed profile. Data: RadarBox.com

According to audio captured by LiveATC.com, the pilots told the controller on duty, “Rhoades 810, we’ve lost an engine. We’re on a 220 heading”. Several minutes later, the pilot reported, “we’ve lost number one engine, we’re coming straight to the airport, we’re going to need the fire department, there’s a chance we’re going to lose the other engine, it’s running very hot… it doesn’t look good here you may want to let the coastguard know as well.”

The aircraft was cleared to fly direct to the airport with a landing on any runway authorized when it became clear that the aircraft was falling. Shortly afterward, the controller could be heard telling another aircraft, “It looks like they went down in the water”.

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About the aircraft

According to data from ch-aviation.com, the aircraft involved is 45.98 years old. The plane was ordered by Pacific Western Airlines on January 1st, 1975. The aircraft took its first flight on July 23rd and was delivered to Pacific Western on October 10th. Initially registered as C-GDPW, the aircraft moved between several Canadian airlines until March 1999.

Boeing 737, Hawaii, Air Crash
The aircraft in its previous livery. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

On April 1st, 1999, the aircraft was registered as 9M-PML and joined Raya Airways in the Transmile livery. In June 2014, the plane was then delivered to Rhoades Aviation, gaining the registration N810TA on July 23rd. The aircraft had completed 69,926 flight hours across 63,804 flight cycles as of June 30th, 2014.

This is a developing story. It will be updated by the Simple Flying team as and when further details become available.

What do you make of this incident? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below.

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