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Two pilots rescued after making emergency landing in Pacific Ocean

written by Hannah Dowling | July 5, 2021

A Boeing 737-200 cargo aircraft with two pilots on board made an emergency landing in water off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii, in the early hours of the morning on Friday, with both pilots rescued by the US Coast Guard.

Transair Flight 810, operated by Rhoades Aviation, departed Honolulu at 1:33am local time, with the Boeing 737 freighter headed for Maui’s Kahului Airport.

However, the pilots were forced to turn back towards Honolulu shortly after take-off, citing engine troubles, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration, however unfortunately were forced to perform an emergency landing into the ocean near the coast.

The Coast Guard said it had responded to a report of a downed plane off the coast of Oahu at about 1:40am, and that both pilots survived the water landing and were rescued within the hour, with help from the Honolulu Fire Department.

One pilot was said to have been located on the 737’s tail fin, and was airlifted to safety and brought to Queen’s Medical Centre. The pilot was taken to intensive care in critical condition.

The second pilot was found on top of packages that had spilled from the aircraft, and was rescued by a Fire Department boat. He was reported to be in a serious condition with a head injury.


“The pilots had reported engine trouble and were attempting to return to Honolulu when they were forced to land the aircraft in the water,” the FAA said in a statement.

“Our situation: We lost number 1 engine and we’re coming straight to the airport,” one of the pilots told an air traffic controller, according to a transcript of the flight.

The pilot confirmed the plane had about two hours worth of fuel, however went on to say “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,” they said.

Shortly after, the air traffic controller said: “Low altitude alert, low altitude alert. Are you able to climb at all?” to which the pilot responded: “No, negative.”

One of the pilots requested ATC “let the Coast Guard know”.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are currently investigating the cause of the incident. Boeing has said it is monitoring the situation and working with the NTSB.

Meanwhile, Transair CEO Teimour Riahi said in a statement that the carrier is working with the FAA, NTSB and Coast Guard to “secure the scene and investigate the cause”.

“Our most immediate concern is the care and recovery of our colleagues,” Riahi said.


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