United 777 Diverts To Midway Island
A United Airlines Boeing 777 bound for Guam from Honolulu made a safe emergency landing on the former U.S. Navy and Army Air Force runway on Midway Island early Saturday after a report of a strange odor in the cabin. Midway is an ETOPs alternate for twin-engine airliners plying the western Pacific and it's owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Most of the time the non-towered facility serves charter aircraft bringing visitors to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and it's maintained under contract with a local company. But the crew of the 777 needed to set down and the 7,800 feet of asphalt fit the bill for a night landing. The 335 passengers and 13 crew spent some time in a gymnasium there before being picked up by another aircraft.
According to Global Travel Industry News, the flight was delayed three hours in Honolulu because of a strange smell in the cabin. Mechanics cleared the aircraft for flight but the smell returned and the site says there were serious issues with flight controls and the cockpit displays, none of which has been confirmed. The passengers and crew were flown back to Hawaii.