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United Airlines plane taking off from Maui plunged to within 800 feet of the Pacific Ocean, flight data shows

After UA flight 1722 landed in San Francisco on Dec. 18, the airline said, a safety report was filed and the pilots are receiving additional training.
/ Source: NBC News

A United Airlines flight took a terrifying dive, plummeting to merely 800 feet above the Pacific Ocean shortly after taking off from Maui late last year, flight data shows. 

The drop unfolded just 71 seconds after United Airlines Flight UA 1722 took off from Kahului Airport in Maui bound for San Francisco on Dec. 18, according to data from Flight Radar, a flight tracking website. The dive was first reported by The Air Current

The flight data shows the plane took off at 2:49 p.m. local time and rose to an altitude of 2,200 feet when it suddenly took a dive and dropped to 775 feet over the Pacific Ocean. 

The plunge saw the plane dip at a vertical rate of nearly 8,600 feet per minute, according to the data.

The flight recovered and regained an altitude of 2,350 feet shortly after, the dive and recovery making up less than a minute, based on the data.

The plane had taken off as Hawaii was experiencing stormy weather with showers and thunderstorms rolling across the region, according to the National Weather Service office in Honolulu. On Dec. 18, Maui was under flash flood warnings, high surf and gale warnings. 

The flight continued on its journey and arrived in San Francisco at 9:03 p.m. local time.

After landing at SFO, United said, the pilots filed “the appropriate safety report.”

United coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Line Pilots Association “on an investigation that ultimately resulted in the pilots receiving additional training,” it said.

“Safety remains our highest priority,” the airline said in a statement.

The airline said the two pilots involved, who have approximately 25,000 hours of flying experience between them, fully cooperated with the investigation and their training program is ongoing. It declined to provide further information on the incident.

The FAA said that the flight crew reported the incident to it as part of a voluntary safety reporting program and that the agency reviewed the incident and took “appropriate action.”