US air safety officials have stated that an investigation would be conducted to determine the cause of a sudden loss of altitude that nearly caused a Boeing 777 flight to crash into the Pacific Ocean.
According to the reports, United Airlines flight 1722 took off from Maui on the 18th of December and was ascending when it suddenly dropped 1,400 feet (425 meters).
It was able to achieve stability at an altitude of only 775 feet and proceeded to arrive in San Francisco 27 minutes earlier than scheduled.
This is just one of many near-collisions that have occurred this year involving airplanes.
According to the aviation website Flightradar24, the flight was proceeding properly up until 71 seconds after it had taken off from Kahului Airport. At that point, the elevation of the aircraft unexpectedly fell.
Within the next three weeks, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is responsible for conducting investigations into airline crashes in the United States, will release a report about the occurrence.
Rod Williams, a passenger, stated the following to CNN: “On board the jet, there were a few passengers who let out screams. Everyone was aware that something unusual had taken place, or at the very least, that the situation at hand was not typical.”
It was “sobering” to think that they were probably about five seconds away from hitting the sea, according to what he had to say about the situation.
Following the landing, the pilots of the flight submitted an internal safety report, according to a spokesman of United Airlines who spoke with BBC News. They have logged a total of 25,000 hours in the air between the two of them.
After conducting an inquiry, the airline decided to provide its pilots with further training, which United stated will be ongoing.
In a statement, a representative of the corporation emphasized that “safety continues to be our first focus.”
According to the statement made by the government agency, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also received a report of the occurrence and “took proper action” in response to it. It did not go into further detail.
The incident is one of a handful of potentially hazardous situations that have been reported by US airlines recently. This year alone, there have been two near misses in the states of New York and Texas.
Two close calls that happened in the last month are being looked into by the National Transportation Safety Board.
At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas on February 4, a FedEx cargo plane was attempting to land when it had to abort in order to prevent colliding with a Southwest Airlines plane.
In January, at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, a flight operated by Delta had to make an emergency stop on the runway before taking off in order to prevent colliding with a plane flown by American Airlines.