Emergency landing on Midway Atoll

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
By George Hatcher

What: Delta Airlines Boeing 747-400 en route from Honolulu to Osaka
Where: 300 nm southeast of Sand Island/Midway Atoll
When: June 17, 2011
Who: 359 passengers, 19 crew
Why: While en route, a windshield cracked. Although they did not lose cabin pressure, the crew decided they had to land while it was daylight. The plane had two birdstrikes and had flap damage also.

The pilots made a safe landing on a 7,900 foot runway on the atoll, Sand Island’s Henderson Field.

Passengers waited on board until a replacement jet was provided within 16 hours. The replacement 747 jet left at 5:00 am before the “sea birds woke up.”

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