The two airmen were rescued from the water near West Oahu in Hawaii after frantically calling air traffic control to tell them “things are not going well here”.
Members of the Coast Guard rushed to pull them out of the ocean after sending alarms indicating that one engine had already started and the other “was running very hot”.
A pilot, 58, was seriously injured and taken to hospital for treatment while the other, 50, less seriously injured, was brought ashore by boat.
“Rhoades 810, we lost an engine. We are on a course of 220, ”said one of the pilots at Honolulu air traffic control, giving the compass reading.
A few minutes later, they reported, “’We have lost the number one engine, we are coming straight to the airport.
“We’re going to need the firefighters, there’s a chance we’ll lose the other engine, it’s getting really hot.
“It doesn’t look good here – you might also want to let the Coast Guard know. “
The report of a water landing arrived at 1:40 a.m. and about an hour later a Coast Guard helicopter spotted the debris and two people in the water, according to U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander Karin Evelyn.
The 58-year-old pilot was airlifted to Queen’s Medical Center where he remains in an intensive care unit in critical condition, Queen’s officials said.
The pilot who was rescued by boat was in serious condition with a head injury and multiple lacerations.
The Transair Boeing 737-200 cargo plane was en route to Maui from Honolulu when pilots reported that an engine had failed.
Tracking data from RadarBox.com showed the aircraft reached a maximum altitude of just 2,125 feet.
Early reports suggested there was not enough altitude to return to Honolulu, forcing the plane to plunge into the Pacific Ocean.
The aircraft was operated by Rhoades Aviation Inc, which operates as Transair, one of Hawaii’s largest air cargo carriers.
Boeing shares fell 1% in trading on Friday morning after the loss of both engines raised a serious alarm.
The National Transportation Safety Board announced Friday afternoon that it was sending seven investigators.
Boeing said it was “aware of the reports from Honolulu, Hawaii and is monitoring the situation closely.” We are in contact with the US National Transportation Safety Board and are working to collect more information ”.