The FAA is investigating a Southwest flight that crashed less than 400 feet from the ocean.


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CNN

A federal investigation is underway after a Southwest Airlines flight plunged into the ocean off the coast of a Hawaiian island.

The incident occurred April 11 aboard Southwest Flight 2786, but was not publicly revealed until Friday after Bloomberg reported that Southwest had sent a memo to pilots about the incident. Bloomberg reported that the memo said a “newer” first officer was flying at the time and inadvertently pushed forward on the stick.

Flight tracking data from ADS-B Exchange shows the plane is falling at a speed of more than 4,000 feet per minute while only 600 feet above sea level. The Boeing 737 Max 8 flew up to 400 feet before rapidly climbing.

“Nothing is more important to Southwest than safety,” the airline said. “Thanks to our strong safety management system, the event was managed appropriately as we always strive for continuous improvement. »

In a brief statement to CNN, Southwest acknowledged the incident but did not address the rating or why the incident occurred.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it immediately became aware of the incident and launched an investigation.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association had no comment.

The flight was an inter-island journey from Honolulu’s main airport to Lihue Airport on the neighboring island of Kauai. The internal memo indicates that the pilots decided to abort their landing due to bad weather, according to Bloomberg.

Tracking data shows the plane then returned to Honolulu.

In December 2022, a United Airlines flight departing from another Hawaiian airport also plunged toward the ocean in bad weather, 748 feet short of disaster, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB concluded that the pilots miscommunicated about the plane’s flap settings. The NTSB has not yet indicated whether it will investigate this latest incident.

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