30 years ago the Boeing-737 in flight foiled fuselage

30 years ago the Boeing-737 in flight foiled fuselage

30 years ago flying over the Pacific Boeing-737 ripped the roof. Despite serious injuries, the experienced pilot managed to land the plane at the airport of departure. The case went down in history as one of the most unusual in the practice of civil aviation.

A deafening whistle and a roar interrupted the routine takeoff of the Boeing 737-297 April 28, 1988, carrying out domestic flight from Hilo — Honolulu between Hawaii. To the frightened passengers it was like an explosion.

“The sound was like a fast-breaking sails, — says the pilot of the plane Robert Schornstheimer, who at the time of the incident was 44, almost 11 of which he flew aircraft of the airline — Aloha Airlines. — It happened almost instantly. There were no signs”.

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Later, 23 minutes after takeoff, the plane literally ripped off part of the skin with a length of six metres above first six rows and the cockpit.

This case was unique in the history of world civil aviation aircraft with passengers without a fuselage dropped to a safe altitude and landed safely.

Because it happened at a high altitude — about 8 thousand meters — passengers experienced explosive decompression.

In that moment, when the cabin burst into a powerful air pressure, Hornsteiner turned back and saw a glowing sky, face bloodied passengers and pieces of torn metal.

“It was like a dream, so suddenly that the consciousness was trying to save you from what was happening, — recalls Hornsteiner 30 years later. — I turned back, wearing an oxygen mask, as we were taught. And showed the co-pilot that I’m in control of the plane.”

Sitting on one of the last rows astronomer Eric .. .. heard a big Bang (“big bang”, as he called it) and saw a huge hole, ziyavshy on the first class of the plane. “Oh, shit. Here it is. I’m ruined,” thought the scientist at the time: “I tried to calm down, but there were too noisy and flew a lot of debris… I was worried about the fact that the hole was growing all the time”.

Everything in that moment knew the pilot that the plane is in trouble and urgently need planting.

The next 13 minutes Schornstheimer and co-pilot 36-year-old Madeline Tompkins gently led the plane, which was carrying 89 passengers, for the runway Kahului airport.

Those who watched the landing, later described it as something incredible, because when you touch it could cause a fire or destroyed the airframe. It turned out that the incident resulted in injuring 65 passengers, has not managed and without victims.

At the time of separation of plating a powerful stream of air from the aircraft threw the senior flight attendant, Clarabell Lansing, which at that time was in the middle of the cabin. According to the testimony of passengers, Lansing threw out almost instantly, when she stood on the left side of the fuselage. Another flight attendant was hit on the head with a chip and fell to the floor unconscious. The third also fell to the floor and held hands for the metal fittings of the seats, to hold her and help the passengers. A three-day search, which led coast guard ships, and not led to the discovery of the dead body of the deceased flight attendants or stray plating.

I can’t believe how it has not collapsed. The only thing that bonded plane is the floor joist. Everything else was not. He wasn’t supposed to be able to sit down.Larry Miller that time the Manager of the airline Aloha Airlines

In the air the pilots did not know that the sudden pressure drop vspuchilis the floor of the aircraft, was broken five beams and damaged the cable going to the left engine, causing it stopped.

To reduce speed while landing, the commander reduced the thrust of the right engine running. However, to sit still had with speed nearly 60 km/h — the pilot found that at lower speed the plane began to shake.

The indicators showed that they did not go nose strut. But visually from the ground, it was confirmed that chassis came out, and the pilot was landing.