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Dead body On Runway Makes For Rare Approaches At Honolulu International Airport

Photo: Instagram @aeros808

It looked a little like the old KaiTak approach into Hong Kong yesterday at Honolulu International Airport.

UPDATE  1/14/18 10:59 PM PT:  Officials are now saying that the body found on the runway was a stowaway.  We’ll share additional updates as we learn more.


This time of year, Kona winds (winds blowing from West to East) force arriving jets to land on the “26’s”. Heavy aircraft typically land on 26L, known as the ‘reef runway’. This means that airliners fly an LDA approach that keeps them away from the Waikiki coast. About a mile and a half from the runway, they align with final. The turn is sporty but most pilots are familiar with the approach.

Yesterday, an unfortunate and unusual event closed the reef runway forcing aircraft to land on 26R.  The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that runway 26L was closed because a pilot reported FOD (foreign object debris) on approach around 12:15pm local time.  The FOD turned out to be a human body.  How terrible!

The runway was closed for six hours while investigators scoured the area for evidence as to what happened.  No details are available as to the cause of death.  While a few go-arounds were reported, no delays were attributed to the closed runway.

Kai Tak? NOPE. HNL!

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Written by Avgeekery

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