Atlas Air plane lands at Honolulu airport after witnesses report hearing explosive sounds coming from aircraft

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — There was a heavy presence of fire trucks and police at the Daniel K. Inouye airport just after 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5.

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Residents nearby reported hearing sounds of explosions. They said that they saw bright flashes of light, which may have been fire coming from an aircraft.

“It was quite loud. I’m pretty sure I heard my neighbors down below talking about it. You can hear a lot of people, it was pretty intense for a while there,” said Makiki resident Kevin Tynan.

According to the Department of Transportation, the aircraft is a military chartered jet that flew out of Hickam Air Force Base. The Federal Aviation Agency later confirmed that it was an Atlas Air Boeing 767.

Officials revealed that there was an in-flight emergency aboard the jet and that it reported mechanical issues with one of its engines. Soon after it experienced engine problems, witnesses say the plane turned around.

“It was actually scary to watch because you’re scared. Is this plane going to explode? Is it going to go down?” said Kakaako resident Rick Bartalini.

“I was nervous because when I first saw it, it was pretty close. I was like, ‘oh my gosh,” said Tynan.

Atlas Air sent the following statement:

“An Atlas Air passenger flight landed safely at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu following a mechanical issue with one engine. At Atlas, safety is always our top priority and we will be conducting a thorough inspection to determine the cause.”

A passenger aboard the flight shared a video with KHON2. Sparks could be seen going off just outside of the passenger’s window.

The plane was able to land safely and the situation is being assessed. The FAA confirmed that there was one pilot and 212 passengers on board.

“I’m really glad everybody is okay and they got back okay. I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like on the plane,” said Bartalini.

Runway 8L at HNL was closed and state firefighters with the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) units were on scene.

No one was injured.

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