(The Hill) — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Friday that a December incident in which a United Airlines flight came within 750 feet of the ocean was caused by pilot miscommunication.
In a report on the incident, the NTSB said United Flight 1722, a Boeing 777, “lost altitude” a “minute after departure” from Kahului Airport on the island of Maui in Hawaii on Dec. 18. The flight descended about 1,350 feet to nearly 750 feet above the water.
“No injuries were reported and the airplane was not damaged,” the report said.
The NTSB concluded the incident was caused by “the flight crew’s failure to manage the airplane’s vertical flightpath, airspeed and pitch attitude” after a “miscommunication about the captain’s desired flap setting during the initial climb.”
The Hill has reached out to United for comment.
A passenger on flight 1722 interviewed by CNN in February said the incident reminded him of the feeling of being on a roller coaster. He said the flight began normally, but then climbed “at a concerning rate.”
“It felt like you were climbing to the top of a roller coaster. It was at that point,” Rod Williams II said. “There were a number of screams on the plane. Everybody knew that something was out of the ordinary, or at least that this was not normal.”
Around the time of the flight, weather conditions in the area included “numerous showers and thunderstorms,” according to the National Weather Service’s office in Honolulu in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. The NWS had also warned of the possibility of “strong winds and hail” resulting from “severe storms.”