United Airlines 848:
January 15th, 2001
On Monday January 15th, 2001
United flight UA848 left Melbourne bound for Los Angeles. Somewhere over
the Pacific there was a minor problem - an electrical fault caused smoke
in the cockpit, naturally causing the crew some concern. An official emergency
was declared and the flight diverted to the nearest piece of land capable
of landing a Boeing 747-400 (a commodity somewhat hard to come by in the
south pacific). And thus it was we found ourselves landing on Pago Pago,
part of American Samoa, around midnight - much to the surprise of the locals.
Not unexpectedly, this wasn't the most wonderful turn of events for us
passengers. It was hot, humid, and the island didn't have much in the way
of hotel space (regardless of the claims made in at least one
newspaper at the time). Most people found themselves sleeping on the
concrete and grass areas around the small island airport, until a second
747-400 could be flow out from Honolulu to rescue us. In the end, we continued
our journey almost a day later and arrived in Los Angeles via Honolulu
on Tuesday morning, almost exactly 24 hours after our scheduled arrival
time. On the day of departure from Pago Pago, I took some happy-snaps of
the unusual sight before us - two 747-400s towering over a small airport.
Many people slept overnight
around the airport itself due to lack of accomodations
The plane we arrived
on, where we parked it the previous night :)
After we all sort-of
sleep overnight, the replacement plane arrives with a new crew
Both planes parked side
by side, an unusual event for a small pacific airport!
Another view of both
planes - "No Smoking" indeed!
Close up of the second
plane - finally reboarding
And getting the hell
out of here.....
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Last updated 02/26/01