Sunday, November 12, 2017

Aloha Airlines 243 (Boeing 737) landing at Honolulu April 28, 1988

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that the disaster was caused by metal fatigue, and due to corrosion created gaps aggravated the problem (the machine near the sea in operation, so more salt and has been exposed). The cause of the corrosion was a polyepoxy adhesive, whereby the aluminum plates were fixed to each other when the machine was manufactured. Water penetrated through the slots where the glue was not able to smooth the metal plates together and the corrosion of the metal began.

The age of the 19-year-old machine was also a key factor in investigating the causes: a total of 89 090 up and down flights were reported, according to statistics, this was the second largest flight ever. The plane was designed for more than 75,000 journeys, but there was no mistake in other aircraft (operating in similar environments), which led to a catastrophe.


  1. I remember see this on the evening news. Still amazes me that it was able to land at all.

  2. I was doing aircraft maintenance when this incident happened. Along with corrosion, the realization of the effects of the number of take off and landing cycles (and the consequent pressurization/depressurization cycles) became a major consideration in the type and frequency of structure inspection, but also in the determination of service life. So an aircraft with high hours might be in better shape than one with low hours because one did longer and fewer flights while the other did lots of short hops.