Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 Diverts To Midway After Inflight Issue

Earlier this week, a Honolulu-bound Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 had to divert to Midway following an inflight issue.…

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 Diverts To Midway After Inflight Issue

Earlier this week, a Honolulu-bound Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 had to divert to Midway following an inflight issue. In this instance, Midway refers to an atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, rather than Chicago’s second-largest airport. The flight had originated in Seoul, South Korea, before a low oil pressure indication forced it to divert.

There were 67 passengers and 12 crew onboard the diverted flight. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The flight in question

Hawaiian Airlines flight HA460 is a regularly scheduled flight that originates at Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) in South Korea. According to data from RadarBox.com, it operates three times a week, on Wednesday, Frida, and Saturday.

The service from Seoul crosses the international date line on its way back to Hawaiian‘s hub at Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL). Its scheduled departure time from Seoul is 21:25 local time. Arrival in Honolulu is set for 11:30 local time on the same day. This gives the flight a scheduled total duration of nine hours and five minutes.

Seoul-Honolulu is a competitive corridor. In fact, the South Korean capital was Honolulu’s third-busiest international destination in 2019. Alongside Hawaiian, three other airlines also offer scheduled passenger services on this route. These are Asiana, Jin Air, and Korean Air. Meanwhile, UPS has a monopoly on dedicated freight services on this route.

Hawaiian Airbus A330-200
Hawaiian sends its Airbus A330s to Seoul three times a week. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

What happened?

On September 24th, Hawaiian Airlines flight HA460 departed Seoul slightly early, at 21:23 local time. According to The Aviation Herald, it had 67 passengers and 12 crew members onboard. However, it was not able to land at its planned destination. One Mile At A Time reports that this was due to a low oil pressure indication, which forced the flight to divert.

Being situated over the middle of the Pacific Ocean, options were rather limited. However, Midway Atoll was just 110 NM away at the time. This atoll, which has just 40 permanent inhabitants, has a suitably long 2,337-meter runway at Henderson Field on Sand Island. The flight made its unlikely arrival there at 08:41 local time.

Midway Atoll is not somewhere that tourists can visit, following the closure of its tourism program in 2012. As such, the arrival of a commercial flight is highly unusual for the territory. Hawaiian Airlines dispatched a second aircraft to Midway Atoll, which eventually got the flight’s passengers back to Honolulu nine-and-a-half hours late at 20:42.

Midway Atoll
The flight landed on runway 06 at Henderson Field on Sand Island, Midway Atoll. Photo: US Navy via Wikimedia Commons

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The aircraft involved

RadarBox data suggests that Hawaiian Airlines always uses the Airbus A330-200 on its flights between Seoul and Honolulu. According to ch-aviation.com, it has 24 of these widebodies in its fleet. The aircraft that had to divert on Friday bore the registration N386HA. It is 9.48 years old, having been delivered to Hawaiian Airlines in April 2012.

The replacement A330 that flew out to meet the flight in Midway Atoll was registered as N381HA. This is a slightly older plane, clocking in at 11.43 years old. It had mechanics onboard, as well as a relief crew. This allowed the aircraft to return to Honolulu yesterday following maintenance. It touched down there at 16:24 local time.

Simple Flying has reached out to Hawaiian for further information on this diversion.

What do you make of this interesting diversion? Have you ever flown with Hawaiian Airlines on the Seoul-Honolulu route? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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Teesside Airport Remains Closed After Aircraft Incident

Following the light aircraft crash at Teesside International Airport (MME), the airport operators have decided to close the…

Teesside Airport Remains Closed After Aircraft Incident

Following the light aircraft crash at Teesside International Airport (MME), the airport operators have decided to close the airport until Monday. On Saturday morning around 09:39 BST, the plane crashed within the airports’ perimeter while attempting to takeoff.

A light plane crash has caused Teesside International Airport (MME) to close for two days. Photo: The joy of all things via Wikipedia

The airport’s emergency services were the first on the scene, followed by two ambulances from the North East Ambulance Service and an air rescue helicopter. According to reports, the pilot and two passengers have been transported to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

One person in the plane suffered serious injuries

One of the people involved in the crash was seriously injured and transported to the trauma center by the Great North Air Ambulance Service. The other two people onboard the plane made the 13-mile journey from the airport to the hospital by ambulance.

When speaking about the accident, the BBC quotes an airport spokesperson as saying:

“We are hopeful the airport will reopen on Monday 27 September. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank all of our passengers who have been very understanding today.

“All of our thoughts and prayers are with the three people onboard at the time of the incident and their families.”

When talking about the accident, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service general manager, Rob Cherrie said:

“The light aircraft had taken off then come back down again very quickly,” and fire crews had been “forced to cut the three people out of the plane.”

A spokesperson for the North East Ambulance Service said that the organization sent two ambulances, a specialist paramedic, an officer, and asked for help from the Great North Air Ambulance. Altogether, three patients were taken to hospital, with one having serious injuries.

The engine went silent

When speaking to the ChronicalLive, an anonymous witness who was tending to a horse in a nearby field said:

“I heard the plane engine start to sputter, then looked up to see it bank left sharply. The engine sounded like it was really struggling, then it just seemed to cut out. It looked like the pilot managed to keep the plane fairly level as it started to come down, but then it just dropped rapidly, then I heard a thud behind the tree line. Thankfully, there was no explosion or fire. I phoned the emergency services immediately, and the air ambulance arrived about 20 to 30 minutes later.”

Loganair Embraer
Loganair offers three flights a day to London Heathrow from MME. Photo: Getty Images.

All flights arriving at Teesside International Airport (MME) were diverted to Newcastle International Airport (NCL) 44 miles away.

Stay informed:  for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

About Teesside International Airport (MME)

Teesside International Airport (MME) is located in the northeast of England, ten miles southwest of Middlesbrough in North Yorkshire. Constructed in 1941 as a Royal Airforce Station, RAF Middleton St. George was the most northerly Bomber Command airfield. During the war is was a base for the Avro Lancaster bomber and from where British and Canadian airmen took off to bomb Germany.

 Teesside International Airpor
KLM offers a daily flight from MME to AMS. Image: Teesside International Airport.

In 1964 the airfield was opened as a civil airport and had various names until being branded as Teesside International Airport for the second time in 2019. From MME, KLM operates a daily flight to Amsterdam while Loganair offers flights to various cities in the United Kingdom. During the summer season, Irish LCC Ryanair provides flights for popular summer holiday destinations around the Mediterranean.

Have you flown from MME? If so, please tell us what you think of the airport in the comments.

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