Poonam Singh

In aviation history, rare incidents stand out, and one such chilling episode occurred in 1988 that is forever etched in memory when Aloha Airlines Flight 243 faced an unimaginable mid-air ordeal.

According to the Washington Post, on April 28, 1988, a large portion of the roof of Aloha Airlines suddenly collapsed and flew into the air. The flight was carrying 89 passengers and six crew members.

Reportedly, midway through its 40-minute journey, this Boeing 737-200 experienced a catastrophic event. Abruptly, the fuselage roof disintegrated, hurtling into the Pacific sky at 24,000 feet, exposing those on board to the merciless elements.

Witnessing the sky's sudden transformation and feeling the roaring winds, passengers and crew alike were engulfed in terror, convinced that survival was improbable. However, against all odds, the pilots skillfully maneuvered the crippled aircraft, ascending to 24,000 feet before executing a daring landing, despite one engine ablaze.

Taking control in the face of chaos, the captain, aided by the first officer, orchestrated an emergency landing on Maui, achieving the impossible just thirteen minutes after the catastrophic event unfolded.

As emergency responders approached the wreckage, astonishment filled the air. Out of the 95 persons on board, tragedy claimed only one life – a flight attendant who, tragically, had not put on a seatbelt. Eight others suffered serious injuries, yet the majority emerged unscathed, a testament to the fortitude displayed in the face of aviation's near-tragedy.