Off The Record
A Plane Lost Its Roof At 24,000ft – This Is What Happened Next￼
If you haven’t heard about the Flight 243 on April 28th, 1988, you’re about to… and if you’re afraid of flying I would suggest you to close this tab ASAP. If you’re still here, let’s get into it.
Flight 243 took off from Hawaii’s Hilo International Airport. The flight is fairly short, less than an hour away. The weather was great, and flying conditions were optimal, but just a few minutes after takeoff a massive BOOM suddenly shocked everyone on the plane. Without a prior warning, the roof covering the first class cabin just flew away, ripped away from the plane in a matter of seconds.
Everyone lost their heads and panicked in fear and paranoia. Would they be able to make an emergency landing? Would they be sucked into the blue sky? Would the whole plane just break apart any second? If you want to know what happened stay tuned…
On the Flight 243 on April 28th, 1988, there were six crew members, including both the captain and the first officer, and 89 passengers in total. The captain Robert Schornstheimer and First Officer Madeline Tompkins had more than 10 thousand hours of flight experience, so they knew what they were doing, but they have never experienced a roof being ripped off from the plane.
The plane that day already made three round trip flights from Honolulu to Hilo, Maui and Kauai. Nothing unusual happened and the plane had recently passed a Boeing service bulletin and an airworthiness directive by two separate inspectors.
On paper everything was ready to go, but while passengers were entering the plane, one particular passenger noted that there’s a crack in the aricraft’s door, but assumed that the staff knew about it already and said nothing.
The aircraft began its ascent, climbing up further and further up, but as the pilots started leveling off the plane at around 24,000 feet, that’s when they heard it. A boom!