We are grateful for the tips received from our savvy, loyal readers. One person tipped us off to a flight diversion we had not seen and have since confirmed, and this time it was onboard bellwether Hawaiian Airlines. Tallying the mid-Pacific flight diversions in the past three weeks, it goes like this. There were 7 mid-Pacific diversions in three weeks and 5 in just about one week alone.
Hawaiian Airlines had a flight diversion on July 22 onboard flight 57 from San Diego to Maui. The plane, an Airbus A321neo, departed on time at 10:25 AM. Something happened that caused the pilot to turn the plane back to the mainland for an expected landing at LAX. Commentor Shan M. reported, “Flight HA57 from San Diego departed, and 2 hours later we turned around and landed at LAX. We spent the night in Los Angeles and flew out the next day. They didn’t give much information other than “airplane issues.”
Looking at the flight map (above) according to FlightAware, it appears that shortly after takeoff, the pilot decided not to transit the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. What transpired after that may have been the time needed to burn fuel before landing at LAX. This happens in specific circumstances. One example is when a plane must return to an airport sooner than planned following takeoff, and a reduction in the aircraft’s weight is needed for landing. In this case, the plane would have had a large quantity of fuel needed to get to Hawaii. Many aircraft types can dump fuel to expedite the process of weight reduction, but the A321neo cannot. We appreciate that being pointed out by commenter Mark L.
Commenters speculate on the causes of Hawaii mid-flight diversions.
In the comments on the prior two posts (links below), you see much conjecture as to what the causes of these incidents may have been. Someone pointed out that two of the three Alaska diversions may have been on the very same aircraft.
As you know, causes for flight diversions can range from medical (related to crew and passengers), weather (unlikely), unruly activity (we would have heard about that), and mechanical (the most likely). Someone even mentioned solar flares. Luckily, there’s ETOPS for mechanical issues on this longest stretch of ocean without diversions in the world. We look forward to more comments, but please stay away from conspiracy theories.
Hawaiian Airlines Hawaii flight diversion.
- July 22 – San Diego to Maui.
Alaska Airlines Hawaii flight diversions.
- August 8 – Maui to San Diego.
- August 9 – Honolulu to San Diego.
- August 10 – San Diego to Honolulu.
Southwest Airlines’ flight diversions.
- July 25 – Kona to Las Vegas.
- August 6 – Maui to Sacramento.
- August 15 – Oakland to Maui.
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