I decided to take this flight as it would allow me to get some LAX spotting & photo time before returning home. Well, my camera decided to get sick upon arrival a few days before. Thank God that the Nikon repair center is in the L.A. area. So that day was spent just watching ... akin to going hunting without a gun.
Of course with LAX, getting there early is a must to avoid the long TSA lines. With a few hours before boarding, I got to watch Rwy 24 action from T2. The HA 763 that pulled into Gate 28 was N585HA ("Noio"), an ex-LTU bird (which shows its wear and tear inside). It's the 2nd time riding on this bird, the 1st being from PDX to HNL via OGG. Even the FAs don't care for the ex-LTU 763s.
Photo © Ivan Nishimura
This was a full flight. According to
We made our decent over the east end of O'ahu, and was assigned to land on Rwy 4R. As is the case for landings after 2000HST, so as not to roar over the houses on the Ewa plain for noise abatement procedures. The approach seemed quite normal, though I thought we were a bit high over Rwy 8R, and a bit fast. The normal touchdown point for Rwy 4R is abeam the Palekona parking lot, however we did not touch until the CO hangar. There also was a 15kt crosswind.
This is where it got interesting ... the pilot actually slammed the 763 onto 4R, hitting with the right main, bounced then on both mains. He dropped the nose hard and floored the brakes and reversers, because he wanted to exit @ T/W K. My estimate is that from our touchdown point to K is less than 5,000 ft. Oh yeah, we also exited K a bit fast as well, and felt the aft section drift as he made the turn.
There were a couple of screams and expletives upon touchdown. Those sleeping were rudely awakened. Upon the announcement of our arrival in HNL, the cabin broke out in applause. One of my business associates on the flight, later told me that the pilot was on a check ride. I don't think he passed the landing. Though 585 was scheduled to go to PHX, 90 minutes after our arrival. I hope they checked the landing gear.
IMHO, the pilot should have gone around. I was surprised that a] he did not blow any of the mains, and b] no one got a neck or back injury. If he really wanted to make a K exit safely, he would have touched abeam Palekona. Though in practically all the 767 landings I've seen on 4R, those exiting on K touched abeam the Gen Av hangars. The rest rolled to the end
That was the hardest landing I have ever been on. I've heard of similar landings during rain or snow, but not clear weather. A DL 764 from LAX also had a hard landing on 4R arriving 30 mins before us. Would a 15 kt crosswind play a factor in this type of landing?