Cathay Pacific Crew Injured As Boeing 777 Hits Turbulence

A Cathay Pacific flight enroute to Nagoya, Japan, hit turbulence yesterday, causing some minor injuries to a number of crew members. The flight was midway through its descent at the time with its 125 passengers seatbelted. None of the crew’s injuries were serious.

Four crew members were injured when a Cathay Pacific 777 hit turbulence just outside Nagoya. Photo: Cathay Pacific.

The details of the incident

As reported in The Aviation Herald, a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 (registration B-HNN) was flying as CX532 between Hong Kong and Nagoya yesterday, Friday, October 25, 2019. CX532 is the scheduled passenger service that departs Hong Kong at 16:15 and arrives into Nagoya at 21:15.

According to The Aviation Herald, the flight was on its descent and at 12,000 feet when it hit unexpected turbulence, causing injuries to four crew members. The flight was fifteen minutes out from Nagoya and continued in, landing safely. The four crew members were transported to hospital for medical checks.

Tracking indicates the aircraft descended from the south in a north-easterly direction just off the Japanese coast before turning left into the bay on its final approach into Nagoya.

The aircraft, B-HNN has remained in Nagoya since landing at 21:02 on Friday evening. This aircraft is only lightly worked, performing one or two sectors a day around North Asia.

The third incident this year involving Cathay’s Boeing 777-300s

This incident is the third bit of bad luck to strike Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777s this year. In January, a Boeing 777-300 operating CX198 from Auckland to Hong Kong suffered some bird strikes on the climb out of Auckland, requiring the crew to dump fuel and return to Auckland where a dented radome was discovered.

This is the third incident this year involving a Cathay Pacific 777-300. Photo: Cathay Pacific.

Also in January, a Boeing 777-300 was operating CX583 from Sapporo to Hong Kong when the captain became “incapacitated,” causing the first officer to declare a PAN. A later report disclosed the captain had lost visual acuity, that is, clarity of vision. The captain did not lose consciousness. The plane landed safely in Hong Kong one hour later, having requested a priority approach. There were 348 passengers and 16 crew onboard the flight.

Stream of minor incidents not unusual

In the first half of this year there were a number of minor incidents such as these involving various Cathay Pacific flights. They are run of the mill events when operating commercial passenger services and not an issue particular to Cathay Pacific. By coincidence rather than anything else, there were several of them earlier this year involving Cathay services, then come mid-year, it when quiet until yesterday’s incident.

In addition to the two aforementioned incidents involving Boeing 777-300 aircraft. In February, a Cathay Pacific A350-900 en route from Perth to Hong Kong also had an issue with a captain becoming incapacitated – shortness of breath and blurred vision. In March, a Cathay Pacific A330-300 on climb out of Jakarta reported a hydraulic failure. In April, another A350-900 reported a problem with landing gear retracting when climbing out of Hong Kong and had to dump fuel and return to Hong Kong. 

The most unusual thing about yesterday’s incident was that some crew were injured. Photo: Cathay Pacific.

In the same month, a Cathay Pacific A330-300 en route to Shanghai was subjected to a lightning strike over Southern China. In May, a Cathay Pacific A350-900 flying to Melbourne had one of its engines shut down. The aircraft diverted to Darwin. Finally, in June this year, on another flight between Hong Kong and Nagoya, a Cathay Pacific A350-900 reported a hydraulic failure when on descent into Nagoya. The aircraft landed safely.

What was unusual about yesterday’s incident was that some minor injuries were suffered as a result. Simple Flying has reached out to Cathay Pacific for a comment on the incident but has not received a response prior to publication.