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HAL confirms that recent flight cancellation was due to ice on the aircraft wing

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Hawaiian Airlines has confirmed that its flight back to Honolulu on Monday night this week, was delayed until the next day due to icing found on the aircraft wing.

The flight arrived from Honolulu on time but was delayed until the afternoon of the next day. Hawaiian accommodated passengers over night.

Responding to Samoa News inquiries, airline spokesperson Ann Botticelli said from Honolulu yesterday that the ice was discovered when the plane landed in Pago Pago.

“Ice and frost are normally present on the underside of a newly-landed jet, because the air is minus-40 degrees or so, up in the atmosphere where the plane flies, so the metal is cold,” she explained. “When the plane lands, any humidity in the air hits the metal and forms into frost and ice.”

“In this case, the ice was on the top of the wing, and we could not get it to melt. Our crew ran out of time and needed to rest,” she said.

The American Samoa Visitors Bureau is its August e-Newsletter, said the first icing on the wing incident for a Hawaiian aircraft while at the Pago Pago International Airport occurred in May this year, resulting in the delay of the outbound flight by a couple of hours.

The airport Fire Department was called to hose down the wings — to melt the ice — as no deicing fluid was stored at the airport, it says.

When asked for comments, Botticelli confirmed the May incident but said the delay was only 21-minutes. American Samoa was faced with heavy rains and strong winds last week and the week before.