United Airlines Boeing 777 involved in runway incursion at Honolulu Airport

The aircraft was reportedly less than 300 meters from another aircraft arriving on an active runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating an incident involving a United Airlines Boeing 777-200 that arrived in Honolulu from Denver last month. While taxiing to the gate, the widebody jet reportedly crossed an active runway ahead of another aircraft landing.

The near miss also prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to investigate and enter a formal safety review. Agency officials said the United 777 was instructed to wait by air traffic control, but did not stop and continued to taxi along the runway.


Details of the incident

The 777, registered as N774UA, was operating United Airlines flight UAL348 from Denver International Airport on Jan. 23. The aircraft landed safely at Honolulu International Airport on runway 4R and departed the runway at 27 knots on taxiway K. The aircraft then crossed the hold short markers for runways 8L-26R and 4L-22R on taxiway K at a speed of about 19 knots. knots, according to data from FlightRadar24.com.

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

FlightRadar24.com noted that the physical size of the 777 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 of only one point on the airframe were taken, meaning that some parts of the aircraft may have been on the runway for an extended period of time.

Recent trend of near misses

UAL348 was reported to be in the middle of runway 4L, while the Cessna cargo plane slowed to about 44 knots about 400 feet away. According to FlightRadar24.com, the Cessna 208 took another two seconds to decelerate to one knot before turning left on taxiway E and then on taxiway B. Both aircraft did not collide and there were no injuries.


Response from United

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

“We are referring questions about this to the NTSB as they investigate.”

The incident comes 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 occurred at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport last month when an American Airlines Boeing 777 nearly collided with Delta Air Lines 737.

United Airlines Boeing 777 lands

Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple flying

Take action

In light of recent incidents involving airlines, the FAA has ordered a safety team to review the U.S. aviation system and will reportedly hold a safety shutdown next month. In a memo obtained by Reuters on Tuesday, acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said the safety assessment team will examine the structure, culture, processes, systems and integration of safety efforts of the nation’s aerospace system.

“We are experiencing the safest period in aviation history, but we cannot take this for granted,” Nolen said. “Recent events remind us not to get complacent. Now is the time to stare into the data and ask hard questions.”

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said in an interview last week that the board has opened investigations into 18 runway incursion incidents since 2013, including two from last summer that Reuters says are still under investigation.

Sources: FlightRadar24.com, Reuters, Reuters






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *