Southwest Airlines Flight Nearly Dives Into Ocean
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Southwest Airlines Flight Nearly Dives Into Ocean In Latest Airplane Mishap

I'm almost positive I would faint in terror if I were ever in this predicament. Kudos to the Southwest Airlines team for avoiding what could've been a fatal disaster.

Recently, a flight on Southwest Airlines flies over Hawaii when the plane almost plunges into the sea. The pilots were flying at a rough altitude of a thousand feet, passing on an opportunity to land because of bad weather. It is business as usual until the plane suddenly drops within 400 feet of the ocean. Thankfully, the flight crew were able to dodge the disaster, pulling up at the last second. Moreover, no one was injured as a result.

How the Southwest Pilot Avoided Catastrophe

A report from Bloomberg intimately recalls the near-fatal incident and the lengths the Southwest crew went to prevent from crashing. A former airline pilot and flight instructor details what happens in an anxious frenzy like this. He says the pilot is "pitching up and pitching down with the power and close to out of control — very close." Then, he likens the experience to what being on a roller coaster would feel like. Obviously, this is no joyride.

It's important to mention that this plane was controlled by a newer pilot. Since the flight was supposed to be quick and relatively breezy, the Southwest Airlines captain put his first officer in command. Every decision made was under his own volition until the captain gives his specific orders. Due to the weather blocking the view of the runway, they abort the landing. Then, the first officer "inadvertently" pushes forward on the controls. He cautiously monitors the thrust level and cuts the speed, causing the airplane to descend and sound alarms.

In a panic, the Southwest captain orders to increase the thrust, causing the plane to dramatically climb 8,500 feet a minute. Eventually, they head back to Honolulu to safely land and evaluate their circumstances.

Southwest Airlines sends a spokesperson to address the incident, emphasizing the importance of communication and safety with their crew. "Nothing is more important to Southwest than Safety," the spokesperson says. "Through our robust Safety Management System, the event was addressed appropriately as we always strive for continuous improvement."