FAA: Jet landing
in Honolulu was
slightly off course

Century Center residents
say it got too close

Associated Press

HONOLULU - Federal aviation officials say a China Airlines jumbo jet was slightly off-course as it approached Honolulu International Airport, but not enough to substantiate high-rise residents' claims that the plane was dangerously close.

Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the Boeing 747 was less than a mile off course.

"It was on a different approach than would have been normal," Kenitzer said. He said the plane normally would have remained on course above the ocean, but would not speculate why it flew slightly further inland.

Residents of a 41-story building near Waikiki say the jet was much closer.

Ana Marie Vaisanen said she could see passengers inside the Boeing 747 as it swept past her 12th-floor condominium at Century Center around 7 a.m. Saturday.

"This roar became louder and louder and louder...and I look out and there is a 747," Vaisanen said.

Some residents told television station KITV the plane came within 30 feet of the building and that one of its wings passed over the fourth-floor recreation deck.

Building resident Sylvia Thomas said she was walking her dog when she looked up and saw the jet.

"It went behind the building and came out the other side," she said.

Kenitzer said the FAA's preliminary findings don't match up with residents' claims.

"That wouldn't go in concert with some of the things we're hearing from the general public," he said.

A call placed to the airline's office at the Honolulu airport seeking comment went unanswered.

The airline's taped recording of flight arrivals and departures said Flight 18 from Taiwan and Tokyo lands at the airport on Saturdays at 7:05 a.m.

Kenitzer said a full investigation, including a look at air traffic data, would be conducted to determine why the plane was off-course. He said the investigation would likely take at least several weeks.

Federal Aviation Administration

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