HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was just another routine interisland flight when an Aloha Airlines jet took off from Hilo, bound for Honolulu, on April 28, 1988. Cruising at 24,000 feet, an 18-foot section of the plane's roof suddenly ripped off, causing an explosive decompression, creating a gaping hole in the fuselage and sucking a flight attendant out of the plane.
The Boeing 737 landed safely at Kahului Airport on Maui, but it goes down as one of the most significant events in aviation history.
Saturday marks 30 years since that deadly Aloha Airlines flight 243 accident that killed the 58-year-old flight attendant, Clarabelle Lansing, whose body was never found.
More than 60 of the 89 passengers aboard were also injured, eight of whom suffered serious injuries.
The Federal Aviation Administration said at the start of the day, an officer did a pre-flight inspection in the pre-dawn darkness, but did not find anything unusual.
The flight crew did not make any visual inspections between its other three roundtrip flights because the airline did not require them.
However, after the accident, a passenger reported that as she boarded the plane, she noticed a crack in the fuselage, but she did not report it prior to takeoff.
A National Transportation and Safety Board investigation later revealed that the incident may have been caused by the plane's old age and poor maintenance. It also found that Aloha Airline's short flights meant that its planes should have received maintenance twice as often as they had.
A visual inspection of the fleet after the accident revealed problems with the exterior of almost every plane. Two aircraft were scrapped as a result, along with the plane involved in the April 28 accident.