- Six people aboard an American Airlines Airbus A321neo were injured in a hard landing at Kahului Airport on Maui.
- Windy conditions and pilot error may have played a role in the rough landing.
- Hard landings can lead to injuries and damage to the aircraft, and aircraft carriers are required to ground the jets until a thorough inspection is conducted.
On January 28, an Airbus A321neo plane made an abrupt landing at Maui’s Kahului Airport (OGG), injuring six people. The incident occurred shortly after 2:00 p.m. local time as American Airlines Flight 271 was landing from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The plane landed hard on the airport runway on February 20, injuring five flight attendants and one passenger. Maui Police say all six people are in stable condition.
No damage to the aircraft was reported at the time, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began a full-scale investigation into the incident. According to reports, the A321, carrying 167 passengers and seven crew members, was taken out of service pending inspection. NBC News.
Details of the incident
During its final approach to Kahului Airport, the plane performed what the FAA calls a “hard landing.”according to hawaiian beatAt the time of the incident, temperatures were reported to be 80 degrees and winds were blowing up to 14 miles per hour.
Photo: Angel Divilio | Shutterstock
The FAA had no comment on whether windy conditions played a role in the plane’s rough landing. Not much is known about the cause of the incident, with the organization only issuing the following statement:
“American Airlines Flight 271, an Airbus A320, made a hard landing on Runway 20 at Kahului Airport in Hawaii at approximately 2:00 p.m. local time. The FAA will investigate.”
According to information released by aviation herald, the aircraft rolled comfortably off the runway and taxied normally to the gate. The uninjured passengers were then able to disembark without incident.
The injured crew and passengers in the accident were immediately taken to the hospital, where their condition is stable. American Airlines provided the following comment to Simple Flying regarding the incident:
“American Airlines Flight 271 from Los Angeles (LAX) to Maui (OGG) experienced an issue during OGG landing. The aircraft taxied to the gate under its own power and the customer deplaned successfully. “The flight has been suspended due to an emergency” by our maintenance team. The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority. ”
What is a hard landing?
A hard landing occurs when an aircraft lands at a higher than desired angle of attack, which in extreme cases can result in injury to passengers. Under ideal conditions, hard landings are extremely rare, but wind, precipitation, and visibility issues can significantly increase the risk of such an event occurring.
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Out of an abundance of caution and with more robust maintenance facilities in mind, the flight crew diverted the plane to Gran Canaria.
But another major cause of hard landings is pilot error, which is likely to be one of the key factors that FAA investigators will need to scrutinize. Mechanical issues, wind shear, and even runway conditions can also contribute to this type of accident.
Aircraft can also sustain significant damage as a result of a hard landing, and this is believed to be the main reason for American Airlines’ decision to remove the jet in question from service. Stresses from high landing forces can cause structural damage to the airplane, which may require replacement of landing gear components or tires.
Beat of Hawaii reported that a similar incident occurred at Kahului Airport last year. The news agency reported that there was significant turbulence during the final approach, as well as crosswind conditions during the hard landing.