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Boeing cargo airplane makes an emergency touchdown close to Honolulu

A Transair Beoing 737 cargo jet sits on the tarmac of the Transair Cargo Facility at Dainel K. Inouye International Airport on July 2, 2021 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Eugene Tanner | AFP | Getty Images

A Boeing 737-200 cargo plane made an emergency landing in the ocean near Honolulu early Friday after pilots reported engine problems, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Both pilots were rescued from a field of rubble, said the US Coast Guard.

The FAA said that Transair Flight 810 made the emergency landing around 1:30 a.m. local time on Friday.

“The pilots had reported engine problems and were trying to return to Honolulu when they were forced to land the plane in the water,” the FAA said. “The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.”

The Boeing aircraft was built in 1975 and, according to the FAA, was powered by two Pratt & Whitney engines. The plane was not a 737 Max, the jet that officials had on the ground for 20 months up until last November after two fatal crashes.

The plane took off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu to Kahului Airport on Maui, the US Coast Guard said.

“Our situation: We have lost the engine number 1 and are coming straight to the airport,” one of the pilots told an air traffic controller, according to the audio from the airport tower, which was published on the LiveATC.net website. The pilot said the plane had about two hours of fuel. “We need the fire department.”

“There is a possibility that we will lose the other engine,” said the pilot. “It’s getting very hot.”

The air traffic controller said shortly after: “Low Altitude Alert. Low Altitude Alert. Are you even able to climb?”

“No. Negative,” said another pilot.

The first pilot asked the air traffic controller to “inform the coast guard”.

The Coast Guard said it responded to a report of a crashed plane south of Oahu around 1:40 p.m. and that both people on board were rescued with the help of the Honolulu Fire Department.

A rescue helicopter located the white and orange Transair aircraft around 2:30 a.m. in a field of rubble

A survivor seen at the tail of the plane was carried out of the water by a rescue helicopter and flown to a hospital in Honolulu, according to a Coast Guard report. The other person was on floating packages and was brought ashore by a Honolulu Fire Department lifeboat, it said.

Transair CEO Teimour Riahi said in a statement that the airline is working with the FAA, NTSB and the Coast Guard to “secure the scene and investigate the cause.”

“Our most immediate concern is the care and recovery of our colleagues,” said Riahi.

The airline, which specializes in cargo flights between the Hawaiian islands, has been in service since 1982, according to its website.

“We are aware of the reports from Honolulu, Hawaii, and are closely monitoring the situation,” said Boeing. “We are in contact with the US National Transportation Safety Board and are working to gather more information.”

The NTSB said it was sending 10 investigators to the crash site.

Freight planes are often decades old and have been converted to cargo after years of passenger transport.

Boeing shares made up for some of the losses incurred after news of the crash, but fell 1.3% to $ 236.68.

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