August 28, 2023 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Steep Nosedive: Maui to San Francisco

Maui to San Franciso

A passenger flight from United Airlines was traveling from Maui to San Francisco, December 18, 2022, plunging from a 2,200 feet to 775 feet while over the Pacific Ocean.

United Airlines UA1722, from Maui to San Francisco, was reported to have “descended as fast as 8,600 feet per minute, according to preliminary data from The incident occurred after the plane took off during a storm, with heavy rain and a flash flood warning and was first reported by Air Current.”*

CBS News reported that “Rod Williams, a passenger who was on the flight with his wife and two young children, said some passengers screamed during the incident. ‘We took off a normal rate of climb and then all of a sudden the nose pitched up pretty, pretty dramatically for maybe 3 to 5 seconds.'” . . . “‘And, at that point, there were a number of screams that were let out because it was, you know, an unusual climb at that point. But it was very brief and it was followed by a very dramatic descent.'”

The CBS report specified that “Pilots filed the appropriate safety report after landing in San Francisco,” according to a statement from United Airlines. 

“‘United then closely coordinated with the FAA and ALPA on an investigation that ultimately resulted in the pilots receiving additional training,'” the airline said, referring to the Air Line Pilots Association—a union representing most pilots.”

*Content source/credit: CBS News, “A United Airlines plane plunged thousands of feet towards the Pacific Ocean after taking off from Maui,” by Caitlin O’Kane, Kris Van Cleave, updated February 13, 2023.

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