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The incredible story of a plane that lost its roof in the air and the light signal that saved 94 lives

The incredible story of a plane that lost its roof in the air and the light signal that saved 94 lives


Aloha Airlines Flight 243 is one of the most extraordinary achievements in commercial aviation

There are stories that surpass even the most bizarre imagination of the most brilliant film director. Such is the case Aloha Airlines Flight 243It happened 34 years ago, on April 28, 1988, and it was recorded One of the most important achievements of commercial aviation.

To Infobe

That Thursday at 1:20 pm, Hawaii, Honolulu, a U.S.-based Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-200, was finalizing details of the runway landing and departure.

Five minutes later, the co-pilot Madeleine damping -One of the few female pilots in the United States at the time- and Captain Robert Shornsteimer Depart from Hilo, Hawaii, on a classic cruise to the state capital, Honolulu.

Flight 243 took off and began to reach altitude with 90 passengers and 5 crew. After a 21-minute flight, it reached an altitude of 24,000 feet and was ready to continue its regular flight to Honolulu. But the opposite happened.

The path that plane 243 should have taken in red indicates the point where the circle exploded; The route to Honolulu is blueprinted in blue

Upon reaching altitude, the aircraft suffered from explosive decompression, which exploded part of its roof and most of its lateral trunk. From front to wings, One-third of passengers are left uncovered, Exposed to strong winds and temperatures below twenty degrees Celsius.

Automatically, Clarabel LansingCabin Manager, She was ejected from the plane. His body has not yet been found, and he may have died in a collision at sea. It was a tragic death, in the midst of a chain of miracles. Because Other passengers and cabin crew were still stranded as the light signal was not turned off.

That is not the only miracle. Everything was given so that the metal of the aircraft would continue to break under such pressure. The captain’s cabin was connected to the rest of the aircraft only by the lower decks of the cargo hold and tilted slightly downwards. It could have left at any moment, marking the end of 94 lives on board the Boeing 737-200..

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After the plane landed, some passengers were already down, others were getting off, and some were still in their seats.

Despite the noise of the explosion, not knowing exactly what was going on, Schornsteimer demanded an emergency landing at Kahului AirportAnother Hawaiian city, and began the descent of an airplane It can break into pieces every second.

HoweverThe commanders went down for 13 minutes – during which dozens of frightened passengers watched everything that was going on around them. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Against all odds, the landing gear responded. The pilot and co-pilot landed the damaged Boeing without any problems

Due to the damage to the aircraft, the commanders were unable to slow down and prepare for a high-speed landing, further revealing the integrity of the aircraft and those on board as soon as it touched down. But against all odds, the landing gear responded. Schornsteimer and co-pilot Tompinks were able to land the damaged Boeing safely.

Seeing is believing

The pictures seen by the Kahului airport operators and passengers at the terminal would have been shocking: An airplane landed on the runway with great difficulty, one-third of its fuselage was cut off, and passengers traveled, without a roof, like an urban tour bus..

The accident was the only cause of Lansing’s death, and she had the misfortune of being the only person to take off her seat belt, probably to start work on the plane, when the explosion caused her to be thrown into the air and into the sea.

It was confirmed in the ensuing investigation Failure of the aircraft due to metal fatigue. LThe aircraft has been in service for 20 years and had already recorded “abnormal vibrations” during takeoff. The The aircraft has already operated 89,680 aircraft, with the manufacturer claiming a useful life of about 75,000..

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Of course this overuse created fractures in the upper panels of the front of the fuse. In fact, one of the survivors said he saw what he thought was a broken surface on the plane near the gate.

The crash was most recalled in commercial aviation, recreating the first episode of the third season. Date: Wind Disasters, As well as the series 1,000 ways to die Entitled “Aspiring Maid”. And it was told in the film Miracle Landing, Developed by CBS. It is not downhill.