30 March 2011


Southern Cross Aviation is ferrying an ATR42-300. N14834 (c/n 193) operated by Hyannis Air Service, Inc. for United/Continental Express in Guam (GUM). The FAA reported that back in December 2010, this aircraft was involved in a ground accident involving a ground power unit (GPU) and tug.

According to the report, an aircraft mechanic during a power turn out of a parking spot, struck the GSE shattering the #2 prop, and causing extensive damage to the ice shield and aircraft skin. The aircraft is on its way back to Guam (GUM) after undergoing extensive repairs.

The flight originated from HYA (Barnstable Municipal Airport, Hyannis, MA) on the 28th, and has made stops at TUL (Tulsa, OK) and CMA (Camarillo, CA).

Mahalo to team member Lono68 for the photos!

29 March 2011

USMC CH-53D Forced Landing

A MCAF Kāne‘ohe Bay-based US Marines Sikorsky CH-53D Sea Stallion executed an emergency landing on a sandbar two miles from shore in Kāne‘ohe Bay earlier this evening, around 1920HST. It was carrying four crew members when the helicopter went down. All four evacuated, and were rescued. They were taken to the Queen's Medical Center. Sadly, one the four crew members died. The unit involved is Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron 363 (HMH-363) "Red Lions", which is part of Marine Air Group 24 (MAG-24), 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW).

The HNL RareBirds team extends our thoughts and prayers to the four involved, and their families. We also thank them, the "Red Lions", and all service personnel for serving our country.

Pictured above is BuNo. 156961, from the HMH-363, on display at the 2010 Kāne‘ohe Bay Air Show.

From social media postings, it was reported that "27" was the CH-53D involved in the emergency landing.

Hawai‘i News Now coverage.

28 March 2011

JAL To Suspend JAL76/75

Japan Airlines announced this morning, that due to the recent tragedy in the Tōhoku region, the airline will suspend JAL76 / JAL75, daily service between NRT and HNL, from 06 Apr to 24 Apr. This temporary suspension reduces JAL's weekly flight by a third, from 21 flights down to 14.

JAL's press release states that there will be 74 flight suspensions to 11 international destinations that will last about three weeks each.

On a related note, both All Nippon Airways and Hawaiian Air will keep their schedules intact.

27 March 2011

ex-China Southern B-2255

Another former China Southern MD-90-30, B-2255 (c/n 53528, l/n 2177), is heading for the US mainland to join the Delta Air Lines fleet as N958DN. It's flying as CSN6999, and arrived last night from MAJ (which originated in MFM).

It's seen above on the Bradley Pacific ramp, and will leave for MZJ (via OAK) later tonight.

25 March 2011

General Electric's N747GE

General Electric's 747-121 powerplant testbed, N747GE (c/n 19651, l/n 25), is in town today. It arrived from VCV, and parked on the North Ramp.

19651 was originally delivered to Pan American Airways in June 1972 as N744PA. It was named "Clipper Ocean Spray", and served with PAA until 1991. GE acquired the 747-121 in December 1991, and received its current registration in March 1992.

Sorry, no HNL photo ...

24 March 2011

Shandong's B-5561

Shandong Airlines is taking delivery of B-5561 (c/n 38016, l/n 3589), a GECAS-leased 737-86N. It's making its delivery flight as CDG5561.

Sorry, no HNL photo ...

23 March 2011


Parked over on the south ramp is N1 (c/n 1071) a Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV belonging to the Federal Aviation administration. This aircraft is also called the "Spirit of America" and serves as the main mode transportation for the U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

22 March 2011

Cargolux LX-NCV

Cargolux's LX-NCV (c/n 29730, l/n/1203), a 747-4R7F, operating as CLX738, taxiing to the hardstand at Honolulu International (HNL) after arrival from Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA). This aircraft will be moving on to Sydney International (SYD) in Australia after a quick tech stop here. Cargolux Airlines International (CV/CLX) is based out of Luxembourg – Findel Airport in Sandweiler, Luxembourg.

On board, was the Mercedes-benz's F-cell World Tour entourage. Mercedes is currently promoting its new hydrogen powered B-class by traveling around the world in 125 days. Seen above is one of the support vehicles in the cargo hold. With their North American tour over, they are currently en-route to Australia. You can follow their progress here.

17 March 2011

United's N597UA

A United Airlines 757-222 repainted in the new livery was spotted this morning. N597UA (c/n 28750, l/n 841) is seen above being towed to the Hardstands after its flight as UAL78 to San Fransisco (SFO/KSFO) was canceled. It departed this afternoon as UAL9808 to San Fransisco.

16 March 2011

Volga-Dnepr VDA4974

Early this morning, a Volga-Dnepr Airlines An-124-100 arrived from Kāne‘ohe Bay MCAS (NGF/PHNG) as VDA4974. It stopped for more fuel before continuing on to Yuma MCAS (YUM/KNYL). RA-82042 (c/n 9773054055093, l/n 606) has been documented on this site a total of four times now, and currently wears the 20th Anniversary decals.

Air China's B-5553

Air China is taking delivery of their newest 737-89L, B-5553 (c/n 40026, l/n 3576). It's making its delivery flight from BFI to PEK, via HNL, MAJ, and SPN, as CCA51. B-5553 is seen above on Taxiway C, headed out to the "Reef Runway", to continue onto MAJ.

15 March 2011

Malaysia's 9M-MXD

Malaysia Airlines is taking delivery of 9M-MXD (c/n 40131, l/n 3577) today. It's beginning its delivery flight as MAS5473 with the first stop at HNL. MXD is seen above taxiing to the Castle & Cooke Aviation ramp to overnight before continuing onto MAJ tomorrow.

14 March 2011

Corporate Aircraft Co's VP-CNI

An MD-87, VP-CNI (c/n 49767, l/n 1587) registered to the Corporate Aircraft Company is en route to HNL from YVR.

It was originally delivered to AeroLloyd as D-ALLI in May 1989. In November 1995, it was acquired by Golden Nugget Aviation as N721EW, then re-registered as N721MM in September 2000. MGM Mirage then acquired the MD-87 in April 2001 as N721MM. Corporate Aircraft Company bought 49767 in February 2005, and re-registered as the current VP-CNI.

***Update 03.15.11***
VP-CNI's stop at HNL was a brief one, and is now en route to GUM.

13 March 2011

Extra JAL Flights Rescue Stranded Passengers

Due to the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, almost all flights between HNL and Japan were canceled. This left around 1,500 Japanese visitors stranded in Hawaii. In order to get these stranded people home, JAL has sent a couple of 777-246ERs to pick up some of these people. On Saturday, March 12, JAL8094 arrived from NRT and left today, March 13, as JAL8093 to NRT. JAL8080 arrived from HND today and is scheduled to return to HND as JAL8089 at 12:55 a.m. on March 14.

The 2 777-246ERs were JA701J (c/n 32889, l/n 410) and JA703J (c/n 32891, l/n 427). These aircraft are configured with 302 seats, so there are still passengers who were supposed to leave on March 12 stranded in Hawaii. Depending on aircraft availability, JAL could send more flights to pick up the remaining passengers.

Above is JA701J, waiting to be loaded for its departure to NRT as JAL8093.

12 March 2011


One of the test 787-8s, N787FT (c/n 40694, l/n 5) arrived at KOA on Thursday (03.10.11). It's the first 787 with the General Electric GEnx engines, and is at KOA for warm weather flight testing. It arrived from BFI as BOE5.

This photo was taken by Aaron Stene, who writes the Kona Blog.

Hickam's 05-5149 Aids Japan

05-5149, a C-17A "Globemaster III" from the 535th Airlift Squadron / 15th Wing (204th AS / 154th W [HI ANG]), based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, left today for OKO (Yokota AB) and MSJ (Misawa AB) to bring generators and 25 personnel to aid in earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan.

05-5149 (P-149) is seen above as it practiced touch and go landings at NGF (MCAF Kāne‘ohe Bay). This shot was taken from the He‘eia Kea Boat Harbor, as the C-17A turned in the left base leg for NGF's Runway 4.

Astraeus AEU666

An Astraeus 757-200 arrived early this morning from NGO as AEU666. It probably is "Ed Force One", the flagship for the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, and wears a special livery for the band.

G-STRX (c/n 25621, l/n 457), a 757-2Q8 (seen above) wears the "Ed Force One" livery for Iron Maiden's Final Frontier World Tour 2011. According to the band's link, they were scheduled to play in Tokyo on the 12th & 13th, but cancelled the shows due to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The are scheduled to play at Monterrey, México on the 17th.

G-OJIB (c/n 24292, l/n 219), a 757-23A, was last here in February 2009 with the same flight number.

Photos courtesy team member Aeros.

***Update 03.15.11***
AEU666 is scheduled to leave for MTY (General Mariano Escobedo International Airport, Monterrey, México) tonight at 2310HST.

11 March 2011

Airports Close Due To Tsunami

Most of the airports in Hawai‘i have been shutdown in the wake of a tsunami threat as a result of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in Japan. HNL, LIH, ITO, and OGG have all closed until the threat has passed. A 2-meter surge is forecast to hit the Hawaiian Islands, and will affect the aforementioned airports.

Only KOA, MKK, and LNY remain open since they are higher above sea level.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in Japan affected by the earthquake, and those affected by the subsequent tsunami.

***Update 09:00HST***
All of Hawai‘i airports are operational. All flights from NRT are cancelled. ANA1062 from HND was cancelled as well, but HAL458 is still scheduled to fly to HNL.

***Update 03.12.11***
NRT has re-opened, and flights bound for HNL are being flown.

10 March 2011

More Improvements For HNL

In preparation for the upcoming 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in November, the state will be spending US$2,000,000 to renovate the International Arrivals section of HNL.

KHON's news link.

09 March 2011

ex-US Airways N527AU

An ex-US Airways 737-3B7, N527AU (c/n 23862, l/n 1586), is making its way westward from MIA (via LGB, HNL & APW) to AKL, and being delivered to Airwork / Toll Priority (HT/PST) of New Zealand. It will be re-registered as ZK-FXT.

23862 was originally delivered to US Air as N396AU in August 1998. It was re-registered to the current N527AU three months later, and was retired from the US Airways fleet, and stored at MHV in August 2009.

It's now owned by the Aurora Leasing Group of San Antonio, TX. In November 2010, N527AU was ferried to MIA for freighter conversion to become a -3B7SF by Aeronautical Engineers Inc.

N527AU is seen above on HNL's South Ramp, being readied for departure. However, after re-fueling and two walk-arounds with the APU running, the crew shut the aircraft down, and delayed its next leg to APW. It also appears that it will receive its final livery when it arrives in New Zealand.

***Update 03.11.11***
N527AU left for APW earlier this morning

Xiamen's B-5566

Xiamen Airlines' second 737-800 delivery in five days is B-5566 (c/n 37153, l/n 3571). The 737-85C is flying as CXA5566. It's seen above taxiing down Taxiway C to Runway 8R to depart for MAJ.

Sun Country's SCX8600

A Sun Country Airlines charter flight, SCX8600, from MSP via LAS arrived yesterday as a federal prisoner charter. The 737-8Q8, N809SY (c/n 30683), returned this morning to LAS as SCX8601 with another set of inmates going to Federal Detention Centers on the mainland.

08 March 2011

Lion Air's PK-LHP

Lion Air's second delivery in the past several days is PK-LHP (c/n 37279, l/n 3573). The 737-9GPER is flying from BFI as LNI1, and will be stopping through HNL later today. It's seen above on Taxiway C, headed for the Castle & Cooke Aviation ramp for its brief fuel stop.

07 March 2011


Air New Zealand's ZK-NBU (c/n 25605, l/n 933) made a brief stop over for some fuel today as ANZ2 from Auckland (AKL/NZAA). Their 747-419 is seen above at Gate 34, being refueled for its remaining leg to Los Angeles (LAX/KLAX).

05 March 2011

US Air Force's 55-3132

For our March edition of "HNL RareBirds Classic", we go back to August 1995, when a US Air Force NKC-135E Stratotanker, 55-3132 (c/n 17248), of the 452nd Flight Test Squadron, Detachment 2 / 412th Test Wing (Air Force Materiel Command), based at Kirtland AFB, NM, was seen parked on the Anderson Aviation ramp after landing on Runway 4R. It was unusual to see a US Air Force jet parked on the south side of HNL.

55-3132 was nicknamed "Big Crow 1", and was part of the Electronic Warfare Vulnerability Assessment program. It was later used a target bird for the YAL-1A anti-missile laser aircraft. Since 2008, 55-3132 has been retired, and relegated to the AMARC (Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ).

04 March 2011

Xiamen's B-5565

Xiamen Airlines is taking delivery of a factory-fresh, GECAS-leased 737-86N, B-5565 (c/n 38015, l/n 3566) today. It's making its island-hopping delivery flight from BFI as CXA5565.

It's seen above on Taxiway C, shortly after landing on Runway 26L. CXA5565 was supposed to park on the Air Service ramp, but was instructed by HNL Ground to taxi and park over at HardStand 1C.

03 March 2011

Omega Tanker's N707AR

Omega Tanker's N707AR (c/n 20079, l/n 790), a 707-321B, made an appearance at HNL yesterday, and is seen above rotating on Runway 8R this morning as "OMEGA70", destination unknown.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Gulfstream G-IVSP, N49RF (msn 1246), arrived from OKO (Yokota AFB, Yokota, Japan) last Friday, February 25th. It's flying around the Hawaiian Islands today as NOAA49 conducting weather tests. It's seen above being prepped for departure to fly around the 50th State, for a 6-hour weather profiling flight.

In 2009, N49RF had a side-looking Doppler radar installed on the aft of the G-IV, and recently had a new nose installed as well.

02 March 2011

Malaysia's 9M-MLJ

Malaysia Airlines' 9M-MLJ (c/n 39319, l/n 3564), is the latest 737-800 to join their fleet. The -8FZ, leased from Babcock & Brown, is flying out of BFI as MAS5403. It's seen above taxiing out to the "Reef Runway" for its departure to MAJ on the 3rd.