Hawaiian Airlines safely makes Kona to Honolulu flight with one engine

The plane involved safely docks at an airport terminal. (Image: Queny Rios)
The plane involved safely docks at an airport terminal. (Image: Queny Rios)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Queny Rios, her boyfriend, and their daughter were on Hawaiian Airlines flight 177 from Kona to Honolulu Wednesday. Halfway into the flight, something wasn't right.

"The plane just started shaking. It was like loud rattling sounds. It felt like the plane was slowing down a little bit," Rios said.

She described hearing a loud boom that came out of nowhere.

"It almost sounded like the engine was shutting down. Super loud!" she said.

Ken Rewick, Hawaiian Airlines VP of Flight Operations, said the Boeing 717 was cruising at an altitude of 22,000 feet when the pilot saw the left engine vibrating so he turned it off.

"It was evident that something was not operating correctly with the engine, as evidenced by the vibration. And the vibration can be very disconcerting," Rewick said.

The pilot flew the last 15 minutes with only one engine.

The 89 passengers on board were never in danger Rewick said. He noted Hawaiian Airlines pilots are well trained to handle these types of emergencies.

"He described that we were close enough to Oahu that we could make a landing on Oahu instead of making an emergency landing on another island," Rios said.

Rios recalled it took about four minutes after the booming sound for the pilot to tell passengers what was happening.

The delay was because the initial steps a pilot must take are to assess the situation, then call air traffic control.

"The first priority after those initial steps are taken is to communicate with the passengers," Rewick said.

Rewick commends the flight crew and veteran pilot for handling the emergency in textbook fashion.

Rios said Hawaiian Airlines is still her favorite airline. She said even on only one engine, the landing was smooth.

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