Passengers onboard a Mokulele Airlines flight were initially terrified when their plane lost one of its engines mid-air, yet to the relief of all, it managed to land safely in Oahu.
The incident occurred on May 4, 2023, when a Mokulele Airlines flight took off from Molokai Airport (MKK) to Oahu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL).
The Saab 340 twin-engine turboprop plane was carrying a group of students and teachers from Molokai Middle School, who were on their way to Oahu for the 14th annual Hawaii STEM conference.
Iolani Kuoha, Molokai Middle School’s Vice Principal, who was escorting the students on board the plane, told Hawaii News Now (HNN) that they heard a loud boom just a few minutes into the flight.
“Like an explosion. It was really loud. I looked out to the left of me, I could see the propeller all of a sudden stopping,” Kuoha said.
She added: “I didn’t want to freak out. I didn’t want to stress out the students, so I tried to be as calm as I could.”
The plane flew for more than 20 minutes with just one propeller working, until it safely landed in HNL airport.
The Saab 340 twin-engine turboprop plane brought to Hawaii in 2022 by Mokulele Airlines’ parent company, Southern Airways Express.
“Southern Airways maintains all its fleet to FAA standards, and we have already begun our investigation into the cause of this incident,” Southern Airways said in a statement seen by USA Today.
The airline has added that passengers on the flight will receive a $400 credit in addition to a refund of the flight.