A Hawaiian Airlines flight that apparently flew into a turbulent storm over the Pacific severely injuring at least 11 people could have avoided the incident had proper precautions been taken.
“In an area with known turbulence and with three flights reportedly already having been diverted earlier that day, the pilots were aware of the dangerous conditions over the ocean and should have taken every precaution to avoid the turbulent area,” said Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner of Clifford Law Offices in Chicago. “The pilots also should also have required all passengers to be belted in their seats with full caution of potential for turbulence and serious injuries. An investigation of the incident will demonstrate what decisions were made or should have been made to protect these passengers to the fullest.”
The flight was en route Sunday, December 18, 2022, from Phoenix to Honolulu when the plane hit severe turbulence about 30 minutes before landing, injuring at least 36 people. A “mass casualty emergency” was triggered, and dozens of firefighters, paramedics, and the state Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Team met the aircraft at Gate 10A. Of those injured, 20 people reportedly were taken to emergency rooms.
A phone video from inside the aircraft shows flight attendants asking if any doctors or nurses were on board.
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians treated patients — ranging in age from 14 months to adults — for injuries, including serious head injuries, cuts, bruises, nausea, and loss of consciousness.
Hawaii Flight 35, an Airbus A330 was full, carrying 278 passengers and 10 crew members. The FAA is investigating the incident, the agency said. The National Transportation Safety Board will also be involved in the investigation, officials said.
Clifford Law Offices has represented victims of every major U.S. commercial airline disaster in the last four decades.
For further information or to speak to an aviation attorney, please contact Clifford Law Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker.