United Hawaii Flight Squawks Emergency; Diverts Mid-Pacific

A Honolulu-bound United Airlines flight diverted Wednesday when a rudder issue caused it to “Squack 7700.” When a flight changes its transponder to emergency code 7700 (called “squawking 7700”), air traffic control in the area is alerted that the aircraft is in an emergency situation. The exact situation on today’s flight was reported to be a flight control issue. The Boeing 757 narrow-body aircraft has been widely used by United Airlines on flights to Hawaii for decades. It is being replaced by newer planes, including the 737 MAX. The 757 aircraft features a single fin and rudder. The rudder is a primary flight control surface that controls rotation about the vertical axis of the airplane.

Flight 2380 departed San Francisco at 11:28 AM and was bound for Honolulu. It flew southwest for more than an hour before reporting an emergency and turning around to end up landing safely in San Francisco at 1:43 PM. The United Airlines 757-300 had 223 passengers onboard today’s flight and seven crew members. That aircraft has a capacity of 234 passengers.

The airline said that “United flight 2380 returned to San Francisco earlier this afternoon to address a mechanical issue. The flight landed safely, and we’ve arranged for another aircraft to take our customers to their destinations.”

In fact, United summoned a replacement aircraft which continued today’s flight. That departure took place from San Francisco at 5:31 PM and arrived at its Honolulu destination this evening at 7:10 PM.

An FAA investigation is pending.

Today’s diversion comes after a number of recent diversions between the west coast and Hawaii.

Most recently, in fact, just 9 days ago, a Southwest Hawaii flight diverted mid-Pacific due to a cracked windshield. Before that, in April, Hawaiian Airlines Flight 383 from Honolulu to Kauai was forced to return to Honolulu due to mechanical problems. And those, unfortunately, are just a few in the long list of diversions in recent months. If you want to read about more Hawaii flight diversions that we’ve reported, type the word “diversions” into the search box on any of our pages, and you’ll find all of the results.


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