United Airlines Boeing 777 involved in Honolulu Airport runway robbery

United Airlines Boeing 777 involved in Honolulu Airport runway robbery – Simple Flying

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The plane was reportedly less than 1,200 feet from another plane that was arriving on an active runway.

United Airlines Boeing 777 Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Easy flying

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating an incident involving a Boeing 777-200 operated by United Airlines that arrived in Honolulu from Denver last month. While taxiing to the gate, the wide-body jet reportedly crossed an active runway before another plane landed.

The near miss also prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct an investigation and begin a formal safety review. Agency officials said the United 777 was ordered to stop by air traffic control but did not stop and continued to taxi past the runway.


details of the incident

Registered N774UA, 777 operated United Airlines flight UAL348 out of Denver International Airport on Jan 23. The aircraft landed safely at Honolulu International Airport on runway 4R and exited the runway at a speed of 27 knots onto taxiway K. The aircraft then crossed the hold short markers for runways 8L-26R and 4L-22R on the Runway K and was flying at approximately 19 knots, according to FlightRadar24.com.

Less than 10 seconds before that moment, Kamaka Air Flight 145, operated by a Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster, landed on runway 4L, parallel to 4R. As it completed its rollout, United 348 entered the runway area where 8L-26R and 4L-22R intersect taxiway K at a speed of 14 knots and exited the runway area less than a minute later.

FlightRadar24.com noted that the 777’s physical size was not represented by the Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) data point, a surveillance technology that determines an aircraft’s position via satellite navigation. Because of this, the coordinates were only taken from a single point on the airframe, meaning some parts of the aircraft may have been on the runway for an extended period of time.

Recent trend of near misses

UAL348 was reportedly centered on runway 4L while the Cessna cargo plane slowed from about 44 knots from about 1,200 feet. The Cessna 208 took another two seconds to decelerate to one knot before turning left onto taxiway E and then onto taxiway B, according to FlightRadar24.com. Both aircraft did not make contact and no injuries were reported.


United’s comment

In a statement to Simple Flying, a United Airlines spokesman said:

“We are escalating questions on this to the NTSB as they investigate.”

The incident came less than two weeks after a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 and a FedEx Boeing 767 came within 100 feet of each other at Austin-Bergstom International Airport. Another near miss happened at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport last month when an American Airlines Boeing 777 nearly collided with a Delta Air Lines 737.

United Airlines Boeing 777 landing

Photo: Luke Souza | Easy flying

To become active

In light of recent airline incidents, the FAA has ordered a safety team review of the US aviation system and will reportedly hold a safety summit next month. In a memo obtained by Portal on Tuesday, Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said the security review team will examine the structure, culture, processes, systems and integration of security efforts in the country’s aerospace system.

“We are witnessing the safest time in aviation history, but we cannot take this for granted,” Nolen said. “Recent events are a reminder that we must not become complacent. Now is the time to stare at the data and ask hard questions.”

NTSB Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy said in an interview last week that since 2013 the board has opened investigations into 18 incidents of runway intruders, including two from last summer that Portal said are still under investigation.

Sources: FlightRadar24.com, Portal, Portal