On Sunday, 11 passengers were critically injure during a flight from Phoenix to Honolulu due to severe turbulence, a Hawaiian Airlines official describe as a unique and unusual incident.
The airline hasn’t had “an event of this type in recent history,” according to chief operating officer Jon Snook. During an afternoon news conference, he reveal that the flight was fully book, carrying 278 passengers and 10 crew members.
Jim Ireland, the director of Honolulu Emergency Medical Services, report that 20 patients, including 11 people believe to be in serious condition, were transport to hospitals.
Despite reports of at least one patient being unconscious, he said all patients were awake and conversing when they arrived at the hospitals.
Patients also sustained bumps and bruises in addition to cuts, particularly to the head. He claimed that extreme motion caused some people to feel queasy and vomit. 36 individuals in total received treatment.
“We are thankful that there were no fatalities or other serious injuries, and we are quite delight about that. Additionally, we have high hopes that everyone will recover completely, stated Ireland.
Three flight attendants, according to Snook, were among those brought to hospitals.
Traveler Kaylee Reyes of Hawaii News Now claims that when the turbulence hit, her mother had just sat down and was unable to secure her safety belt.
Reyes said, “She shot up and hit the roof.
According to Snook, the aircraft suffered some internal damage during the turbulence. Even though some of those hurt weren’t wearing seatbelts, he claimed the seatbelt sign was on at the time.
At the time of the event, there was a weather advisory for thunderstorms that spanned Oahu and regions that would have included the flight path, according to Thomas Vaughan, a meteorologist working for the Honolulu National Weather Service.
The airline was aware of the weather prediction, the unstable air, and the weather, but Snook claim they were not inform that the specific air patch where the turbulence occurred “was in any way problematic.”
He said the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate how much altitude the plane lost during the turbulence. Reyes indicated that information would be available from the aircraft’s flight recorder.
He added that the probe would specifically cover what the passengers and staff were doing at the time.
After the turbulence, the Airbus A330-200 started to descend, and the crew immediately declared an emergency because of the large number of injuries, he said. The flight was given priority to land by the air traffic controllers.
According to Snook, the plane will have a full inspection and maintenance, largely to fix cabin-related parts.
Based on the injuries and the damage to the cabin paneling, Snook said he could only guess whether some passengers struck their heads.
According to Snook, injuries like these happen because people who aren’t wearing seatbelts stay still as the plane crashes.
The investigation will look at if any more steps were made to make sure passengers were wearing seatbelts in addition to turning on the fasten seatbelt sign, he said.
A 2019 Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Sydney that encountered severe turbulence two hours past Hawaii resulted in injuries to 37 passengers and members of the flight crew. The injured were treat in Honolulu as the Boeing 777-200 was divert there. Nine persons had serious injuries, and thirty people were sent to hospitals.
A 2017 American Airlines aircraft from Athens encountered strong turbulence along the New York coastline while flying over the Atlantic. Three passengers and seven members of the crew suffered injuries.
Turbulence is typically associate with powerful storms. Nevertheless, so-called clear-air turbulence is the most hazardous kind. Due to changes in temperature and pressure, the wind-shear phenomenon can happen in clear air near thunderstorms and wispy cirrus clouds.
Clear-air turbulence can strike a plane without prior notice.