Hawaiian Airlines Flight 156 (Flightaware) suffered a hydraulic failure and returned to Honolulu, where emergency services were ready on a taxiway following landing at HNL. The event took place a week ago but went unnoticed until mentioned by Aviation Herald.
In any aircraft, hydraulics are responsible for controlling movement of the plane, both left and right, and up and down. A hydraulic failure can lead to potential loss of control.
The plane departed Honolulu early at 7:25 AM, and was to have arrived on Maui on time at 8:11 AM. Instead, however, the plane diverted back to Honolulu, where it returned for a safe landing just 23 minutes later at 7:48 AM.
The approximately 20 year old Boeing 717-200 jet was met on the taxiway then towed due to the crew reporting to Air Traffic Control the potential inability to make a right turn. “Emergency services reported a little smoke was coming from the left hand gear, but nothing glowing.”
“Hydraulic low pressure and low quantity” resulted in Hawaii flight diversion.
On its climb out of Honolulu Airport, at about 3,000 feet on its way up to a cruise altitude of 15,000 feet, the flight crew noted “hydraulic low pressure and low quantity, left hand side.” Procedures were implemented to terminate the flight via diversion back to HNL, where it landed safely soon thereafter.
Airline hydraulic issues not entirely uncommon.
Earlier this year, Hawaiian Airlines suffered hydraulic system problems of unknown type and severity on two flights that both resulted in emergency landings (which this incident did not). One of those two was on this same type of aircraft while the other one was on a widebody Airbus A330.
Passengers arrived via an alternative aircraft with about a two hour delay.
With the problem occurring at Hawaiian’s home base, it was able to readily summon a replacement 717-200 aircraft. As a result, passengers were only delayed by about two hours before arriving on Maui.
How safe is the Boeing 717 airliner?
Boeing 717 is considered to be among the safest passenger planes with a great track record. The plane type has been involved in a total of 6 aviation accidents and incidents. It has not, however, had any passenger fatalities or hull losses through its more than two decade history.
New interisland fleet is coming to Hawaiian Airlines.
The Boeing 717-200 fleet has served the airline very well. At the same time, they are old and their era is coming to the end. The plane never achieved great success and Hawaii may well be the last carrier flying the type soon. See the Boeing 717 replacement options Hawaiian is considering. A decision on which plane will be used for interisland flights should be announced within months.
Hydraulic problems on airliners.
Hydraulic faults can be of varying degrees, from small leaks to possible component or system failures. These problem are presented to flight crew via aircraft warning systems.
We’ll update you with any further information we learn about this event.