A Southwest 737 Max-8 flying from Kona to Las Vegas yesterday morning had what appeared to be a terrifying incident that ended well. The flight took off from Kona at 720 AM. The Aviation Herald, a reliable source for aviation incidents, reported that “the crew turned around and decided to divert to Honolulu reporting smoke in the cockpit.” The incident was also confirmed by the flight tracking website Flightaware.
The flight landed without incident in Honolulu at 844 AM. A replacement plane was dispatched, which resulted in a delay to passengers of only 3.5 hours, which under the circumstances, seems quite fast.
It was also reported that the aircraft involved in the incident was still on the ground at Honolulu as of this morning.
Other smoke in the cockpit recent incidents in July.
These are clearly concerning and very frightening, especially on trans-Pacific flights, which have among the longest durations over water of any flights. Yet, smoke in cockpit incidents are probably more frequent than we imagine. Here are a few recent examples that took place in the U.S.:
July 17, 2022. UAL at Green Bay, wherein smoke in the cabin resulted in a flight diversion.
July 10, 2022. American Airlines smoke in the cabin caused a diversion to Phoenix.
July 10, 2022. American Airlines “mayday” resulting from smoke in cabin and flight returned to Chicago.
July 5, 2022. Delta Airlines smoke resulted in a return to Charleston.
Were you on this flight, or have you ever been on another diverted flight?