B741, en-route, Pacific Ocean, 1997

Summary: 

On 28th December 1997, a Boeing 747-100 being operated by United Airlines, which had departed from Tokyo for Hawaii, encountered severe turbulence thought to have been associated with a Jet Stream over the Pacific Ocean.

Event Details
When: 
28/12/1997
Event Type: 
Day/Night: 
Night
Flight Conditions: 
VMC

18975

Flight Details
Aircraft: 
Operator: 
Type of Flight: 
Public Transport (Passenger)
Flight Origin: 
Intended Destination: 
Actual Destination: 
Take-off Commenced: 
Yes
Flight Airborne: 
Yes
Flight Completed: 
Yes
Phase of Flight: 
Cruise
Location
Approx.: 
Pacific Ocean, 870 NM SE of Tokyo Narita, Japan
WX
Tag(s): 
CAT encounter
CS
Tag(s): 
Turbulence Injury - Cabin Crew, Cabin Stowage - Pax Items
Outcome
Damage or injury: 
Yes
Aircraft damage: 
Minor
Non-aircraft damage: 
Yes
Non-occupant Casualties: 
No
Occupant Injuries: 
Few occupants
Occupant Fatalities: 
Few occupants
Number of Occupant Fatalities: 
1
Off Airport Landing: 
Yes
Ditching: 
Yes
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s): 
Aircraft Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s): 
None Made
Investigation Type
Type: 
Independent

Description

On 28th December 1997, a Boeing 747, operated by United Airlines, which had departed from Tokyo heading for Hawaii, encountered severe turbulence thought to have been associated with a Jet Stream over the Pacific Ocean.

Several passengers and crew members sustained serious injuries and one passenger subsequently died. Although Midway was possibly closer, the captain elected to return to Tokyo where the medical facilities were better. The aircraft did not sustain any structural damage but there was significant damage to fixtures and fittings in the cabin.

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