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Yesterday’s flight from Austin to Honolulu departed 32 minutes late at 10:07 AM. But unexpectedly, just one hour and eight minutes later, it was on the ground again—this time at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The cause of this inflight diversion is not officially known as nothing has been reported.
Hawaiian Airlines flight 81 arrived at the gate some thirty minutes after landing in Phoenix. But here’s what happened after that. The continuation flight, for whatever reason, didn’t depart Phoenix until 1:26 AM. It landed in Honolulu at 4:30 AM the next day.
We asked that if anyone was on this flight, they let us know further what transpired en route as well as during the delay at Sky Harbor. Commenter Mary was nice enough to report this:
“My sister was on this flight. There was a small hole in the windshield, right side, that developed into a spiderweb-style crack. The plane landed in Phoenix around 10:30 a.m. AZ time. The new departure time was supposed to be 11 pm — so 12 hours later. Hotel accommodations were offered; some accepted. Others chose to remain in the airport; lunch and dinner vouchers were offered ($27 value). Departure time was delayed further to midnight, then delayed again until 1:20 a.m. The flight finally arrived HNL at 4:20 a.m. on 29Aug — 15+ hours late.”
It is likely that the required crew rest time would then have become an issue that would have dictated more time on the ground.
We wrote about a Hawaiian Airlines flight diversion from fumes in the cabin just three days ago. See What Are Fumes In Aircraft Events? | Hawaiian Diverts Again. And making up the total of 9 recent events, read about Hawaiian Joins Mid-Air Diversions | Now 7 In Three Weeks.
We can’t say why there seem to be more diversions recently or if it’s coming to our awareness more as we try to track these. Mahalo to commenter Will K. for pointing out this latest diversion to us.
As we’ve pointed out previously, and you are likely well aware, flight diversion causes can vary from medical issues of passengers or crew (not likely due to the length of the delay at Phoenix), weather (also unlikely), unruly activity (also unlikely), and mechanical (highly likely this time, also given the comment we received earlier today).
We always welcome comments.
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With a flaw like that, for them to continue from Austin to Honolulu would have gotten HAL into a real level of trouble that no one – the airline, the flying public, or even the FAA – want to have to happen. Keep in mind just the fact that there was a windshield crack will trigger an investigation, determining if the part was defective, or was installed improperly. So know that, yes, it’s an inconvenience for the flying public who is on that flight. But also know that you want that level of scrutiny on airlines when flying, especially over the Pacific, by our Federal officials.
So, it was an urgent maintenance issue, combined with a crew rest issue. Better to stop in Phoenix and get the issue fixed than have a major problem over the Pacific. Over the years, I’ve probably had 4 or 5 delays due to a cracked windshield.
I always say “better safe than sorry”. And, due to the length of the repair, the crew needed proper rest (approximately 12 hours). I would have chosen to go to a hotel and relax.
Why does this keep happening? Is there a problem with that particular aircraft? I have flown many times to Kauai and I’m not a fan of flying anyway! This is really disturbing for me! Hawaii is the only place that will get me in a plane!
Windshields on aircraft cracking like what was described are rare. The last thing anyone shoukd want is being on an airplane with a potential WI shield failure in flight. It would be one thing if they knew that there was a flaw before they took off but unless Hawaiian is forthcoming with that information no one will ever know except them. Still a lot safer than driving on the mainland.
My sister was on this flight. There was a small hole in the windshield, right side, that developed into a spiderweb style crack. Plane landed in Phoenix around 10:30 a.m. AZ time. New departure time was supposed to be 11 pm — so 12 hours later. Hotel accommodations were offered; some accepted. Others chose to remain in the airport; lunch and dinner vouchers were offered ($27 value). Departure time was delayed further to midnight, then delayed again until 1:20 a.m. Flight finally arrived HNL at 4:20 a.m. on 29Aug — 15+ hours late.
Thanks so much for the update on what happened and how the delay was handled. We appreciate it!
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Hawaiian Air A330 Diversion Results In 13-Hr Phoenix Delay – Beat of Hawaii
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