Narrative:Hawaiian Airlines flight 481 took off from Honolulu (HNL) bound for Tahiti (PPT). No notable events occurred on the flight until the approach. At 23:24 the captain started the arrival briefing and mentioned the following items: frequency, description of missed approach. He then asked the co-pilot to find out about the weather. The controller transmitted the 23:00 information, mentioning a 080░/5 kt wind, occasionally 340░/15 kt, with gusts to 25 kt. He also mentioned rain showers, some cumulonimbus and indicated that the runway was wet. During the descent, numerous thunderstorm cells were observed by the crew on the track and around the aerodrome. At 23:46, the tower controller asked the flight to descend towards 2,500 ft QNH and to report back when passing OVINI. He stated that there were showers at the aerodrome. Twenty-two seconds later, the co-pilot announced that they were passing OVINI.
At 23:49 the captain armed the spoilers and asked for the flaps to be extended to 22░ then, twenty-five seconds later, to the 35░ position.
The controller cleared flight HAL 481 to land on runway 04. He gave the wind as 060░/10 kt, gusting to 14. The captain noticed changes in the wind and the co-pilot announced, based on the airplane's GFMS, a wind from 280░ at 28 kt. Almost two minutes later the controller transmitted updated weather information: 330░/18 kt, gusting to 28. Thirty-two seconds later, the crew had the airfield in sight and a final wind reading was given to them: 330░/18 kt, gusting to 29.
At 23:52:11, the autopilot was disconnected. Nine seconds later, the airplane passed under the approach path and the GPWS "sink rate" warning sounded. The pilot rejoined the descent path with the aid of the PAPI and continued his approach using external visual references. At that time, the airplane was following a track parallel and to the right of the approach path. Between 23:52:32 and 23:52:38, the radio altimeter call-outs between fifty and ten feet began and continued at a rate of one per second. Power reduction began five seconds after the ten feet call-out. At 23:52:45 s, the wheels of the main landing gear touched the runway to the right of the centerline. Five seconds later, which was two seconds after the nose gear touched down, the thrust reversers were deployed. The parameters indicate that reverse thrust on each of the engines was adjusted and regulated without it ever reaching its maximum value. At 23:52:53, eight seconds after the main landing gear touched down, the spoilers were deployed manually by the flight engineer. At 23:52:59, the copilot's "Centerline" call-out suggested the captain rejoin the runway centerline, from which the airplane was moving away to the left. At 23:53:21, the airplane crushed the localizer antennae, continued along the runway extended centerline and then came to a stop past the end of the runway, its nose in a lagoon. The captain , after checking on the safety situation around the airplane, ordered the evacuation via door 2R.
CAUSES OF THE ACCIDENT: "The accident was caused by the failure, during the preparation for the approach, to take into account the risk of a storm passing over the airfield at the time of landing.
The following factors contributed to the accident:
- The crew focusing on lateral control of the airplane's track, due to a strong crosswind that was changing in strength and direction, and late thrust reduction, resulting in a glide and a long touchdown;
- The late manual extension of the spoilers, which increased the length of the landing roll;
- The presence of water on the runway, the low vertical speed during contact with the ground and perhaps the slipperiness of the runway, which made the airplane slide, in particular in the threshold 22 wheel touchdown area."
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Honolulu International Airport, HI to Papeete-Faaa Airport as the crow flies is 4390 km (2744 miles).