Also, in January, a Boeing 777-300 was operating CX583 from Sapporo to Hong Kong when the captain became “incapacitated,” causing the first officer to declare a PAN. A later report disclosed the captain had lost visual acuity, that is, clarity of vision. The captain did not lose consciousness. The plane landed safely in Hong Kong one hour later, having requested a priority approach. There were 348 passengers and 16 crew on board the flight.
In the first half of this year, there were a number of minor incidents such as these involving various Cathay Pacific flights. They are run of the mill events when operating commercial passenger services and not an issue particular to Cathay Pacific. By coincidence rather than anything else, there were several of them earlier this year involving Cathay services, then come mid-year, it when quiet until yesterday’s incident.
In addition to the two aforementioned incidents involving Boeing 777-300 aircraft. In February, a Cathay Pacific A350-900 enroute from Perth to Hong Kong also had an issue with a captain becoming incapacitated – shortness of breath and blurred vision. In March, a Cathay Pacific A330-300 on the climb out of Jakarta reported a hydraulic failure. In April, another A350-900 reported a problem with landing gear retracting when climbing out of Hong Kong and had to dump fuel and return to Hong Kong.
In the same month, a Cathay Pacific A330-300 enroute to Shanghai was subjected to a lightning strike over Southern China. In May, a Cathay Pacific A350-900 flying to Melbourne had one of its engines shut down. The aircraft diverted to Darwin. Finally, in June this year, on another flight between Hong Kong and Nagoya, a Cathay Pacific A350-900 reported a hydraulic failure when on the descent into Nagoya. The aircraft landed safely.
What was unusual about yesterday’s incident was that some minor injuries were suffered as a result. Simple Flying has reached out to Cathay Pacific for a comment on the incident but has not received a response prior to publication.