Plane not rated for trans-Pacific flight sent to Hawaii

from CNN.com – Top Stories http://ift.tt/1K8mbZl

Washington (CNN)American Airlines confirms to CNN that it accidentally put an Airbus A321S aircraft — that was not certified to fly over the Pacific — on a long-haul flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii.

American spokesman Casey Norton said "someone on the ground" realized the mix-up sometime after AA Flight 31 had departed LAX on August 31st, filled with passengers and crew. American Airlines declined to identify who first noticed the mistake.

Norton said American immediately notified the flight crew and the Federal Aviation Administration and the decision was made to allow the crew to complete the flight, and the plane landed safely in Honolulu.

American Airlines passenger planes are seen on the tarmac at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, June 8.

American Airlines passenger planes are seen on the tarmac at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, June 8.

American Airlines passenger planes are seen on the tarmac at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, June 8.

Hawaii-bound aircraft are required by the FAA to have extra fire suppression equipment in the cargo hold and extra medical equipment on board, including oxygen — since there are no points in between for an aircraft to divert to if there is an on board emergency. American Airlines said the correct aircraft, the A321-H, was just put into service on August 18th.

Norton said the new plane was part of the airline’s long-term strategy to upgrade service, and it replaced a Boeing 757 that flew that route up until last month.

"Somebody screwed up big-time, somewhere," an American Airlines pilot, who is not authorized to speak on the record, told CNN.

    Malaysia Airlines acquired its first A380 in 2012. The carrier is now said to be offloading its six-strong A380 fleet as it restructures. The sale will be an ineresting test for the A380 just days after it celebrated 10 years in the air.

    Malaysia Airlines acquired its first A380 in 2012. The carrier is now said to be offloading its six-strong A380 fleet as it restructures. The sale will be an ineresting test for the A380 just days after it celebrated 10 years in the air.

    11 photos:
    Malaysia Airlines acquired its first A380 in 2012. The carrier is now said to be offloading its six-strong A380 fleet as it restructures. The sale will be an ineresting test for the A380 just days after it celebrated 10 years in the air.

    Malaysia Airlines acquired its first A380 in 2012. The carrier is now said to be offloading its six-strong A380 fleet as it restructures. The sale will be an ineresting test for the A380 just days after it celebrated 10 years in the air.

    11 photos:
    Malaysia Airlines A380Malaysia Airlines acquired its first A380 in 2012. The carrier is now said to be offloading its six-strong A380 fleet as it restructures. The sale will be an ineresting test for the A380 just days after it celebrated 10 years in the air.
    Hide Caption
    1 of 11
    The A380 took its maiden flight on April 27, 2005. At 79.8 meters wide, the aircraft is the largest commercial passenger plane in operation.

    The A380 took its maiden flight on April 27, 2005. At 79.8 meters wide, the aircraft is the largest commercial passenger plane in operation.

    11 photos:
    Happy birthday, A380The A380 took its maiden flight on April 27, 2005. At 79.8 meters wide, the aircraft is the largest commercial passenger plane in operation.
    Hide Caption
    2 of 11
    Different sections of the A380 are built in different locations across Europe then brought for assembly in Toulouse, France. Here the rear section of the fuselage of the first A380 makes its way by barge through the French city of Bordeaux.

    Different sections of the A380 are built in different locations across Europe then brought for assembly in Toulouse, France. Here the rear section of the fuselage of the first A380 makes its way by barge through the French city of Bordeaux.

    11 photos:
    A plane of many partsDifferent sections of the A380 are built in different locations across Europe then brought for assembly in Toulouse, France. Here the rear section of the fuselage of the first A380 makes its way by barge through the French city of Bordeaux.
    Hide Caption
    3 of 11
    The Toulouse production line is currently working through an order list of more than 160 aircraft.

    The Toulouse production line is currently working through an order list of more than 160 aircraft.

    11 photos:
    On down the lineThe Toulouse production line is currently working through an order list of more than 160 aircraft.
    Hide Caption
    4 of 11
    More than 50,000 people gathered to watch the A380's maiden flight at France's Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.

    More than 50,000 people gathered to watch the A380's maiden flight at France's Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.

    11 photos:
    Maiden flightMore than 50,000 people gathered to watch the A380’s maiden flight at France’s Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.
    Hide Caption
    5 of 11
    That maiden test flight was a success, much to the relief of Airbus, which had sunk $13 billion and 11 years of work into developing the aircraft.

    That maiden test flight was a success, much to the relief of Airbus, which had sunk $13 billion and 11 years of work into developing the aircraft.

    11 photos:
    Successful testThat maiden test flight was a success, much to the relief of Airbus, which had sunk $13 billion and 11 years of work into developing the aircraft.
    Hide Caption
    6 of 11
    Singapore Airlines was the first to take delivery of an A380. The first commercial A380 flight ran from Singapore to Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport on October 25, 2007.

    Singapore Airlines was the first to take delivery of an A380. The first commercial A380 flight ran from Singapore to Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport on October 25, 2007.

    11 photos:
    Singapore Airlines A380Singapore Airlines was the first to take delivery of an A380. The first commercial A380 flight ran from Singapore to Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport on October 25, 2007.
    Hide Caption
    7 of 11
    Emirates has been one of the A380s biggest champions. It currently operates 59 superjumbos and has orders for 81 more. It's raised the prospect of ordering 200 more if Airbus is willing to commit to a redesign.

    Emirates has been one of the A380s biggest champions. It currently operates 59 superjumbos and has orders for 81 more. It's raised the prospect of ordering 200 more if Airbus is willing to commit to a redesign.

    11 photos:
    Emirates A380sEmirates has been one of the A380s biggest champions. It currently operates 59 superjumbos and has orders for 81 more. It’s raised the prospect of ordering 200 more if Airbus is willing to commit to a redesign.
    Hide Caption
    8 of 11
    Beyond Emirates, sales of the A380 have been sluggish. Just 317 A380s have been ordered to date. Airbus says it believes the aircraft still has a bright future.

    Beyond Emirates, sales of the A380 have been sluggish. Just 317 A380s have been ordered to date. Airbus says it believes the aircraft still has a bright future.

    11 photos:
    Sluggish salesBeyond Emirates, sales of the A380 have been sluggish. Just 317 A380s have been ordered to date. Airbus says it believes the aircraft still has a bright future.
    Hide Caption
    9 of 11
    The A380 has proved a hit with passengers, particularly premium ticket-holders wowed by the comfort levels available. Ethiad was the first airline to offer fully private suites with a separate reclining lounge seat and full-length bed.

    The A380 has proved a hit with passengers, particularly premium ticket-holders wowed by the comfort levels available. Ethiad was the first airline to offer fully private suites with a separate reclining lounge seat and full-length bed.

    11 photos:
    Passenger popularityThe A380 has proved a hit with passengers, particularly premium ticket-holders wowed by the comfort levels available. Ethiad was the first airline to offer fully private suites with a separate reclining lounge seat and full-length bed.
    Hide Caption
    10 of 11
    The A380's size means it can easily accommodate a lounge bar, such as this one offered by Emirates. Other airlines have promised gyms or casinos, but haven't delivered.

    The A380's size means it can easily accommodate a lounge bar, such as this one offered by Emirates. Other airlines have promised gyms or casinos, but haven't delivered.

    11 photos:
    A380 loungeThe A380’s size means it can easily accommodate a lounge bar, such as this one offered by Emirates. Other airlines have promised gyms or casinos, but haven’t delivered.
    Hide Caption
    11 of 11
    malaysia airlines a380airbus1airbus 2Airbus 3Airbus 4Airbus 5Airbus 6emirates a380 planehong kong plane A3803. Ethiad First Apartmentemirates A380 lounge

    The pilot explained that maintenance crews have to sign off on all extended operation certified equipment on any long-range aicrcraft and have a checklist of items that they have to go through and approve before a plane is certified to fly.

    "All (extended operation) related equipment must be certified and be operational before a plane is cleared to fly. That means everything from oil quantities, to crew oxygen quantities, to retardants — they all have to be looked at," he said. "All I can say is, thank God they didn’t have an emergency on that flight."

    For its part, American Airlines said once the mistake was identified they acted quickly.

    "When we realized what happened, we immediately notified the FAA and began a thorough review of our procedures," Norton said. "Already, we have revised our software to properly identify the correct aircraft are operating the correct routes."

    The return flight on that aircraft was canceled, and the plane was flown back to LAX with just a minimal crew on board.

    "The A321-S flies over water regularly for many missions, but is not (extended operation certified), which is required by the FAA for American’s Hawaiian flights," Norton said, adding that both planes are very similar otherwise, with the same engines and same range.

    CNN has reached out to the FAA for comment, but has not heard back.

        This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at http://ift.tt/jcXqJW.

        Advertisements