Hawaiian Airlines Turns Over DC-9 Aircraft to Honolulu Community College's Pacific Aerospace Training Center

Aircraft is last DC-9 in Hawaiian Airlines interisland fleet

University of Hawaiʻi
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Keoni Wagner, (808) 838-6778
Vice President
Posted: Oct 23, 2002

Today Hawaiian Airlines decommissioned its last DC-9 aircraft, marking the end of an era for the company, with a special ceremony for Hawaiian Airlines employees before turning the aircraft over to the University of Hawaiʻi and Honolulu Community College‘s (HCC) Pacific Aerospace Training Center (PATC). Hawaiian Airlines chose to generously offer the historical aircraft to the aviation and aeronautics maintenance training program at HCC in an effort to support the training of future aviation technicians from Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.

"This plane‘s record service in Hawaiʻi is a testament to the expertise of the crews at Hawaiian Airlines who maintained and flew it. It‘s only fitting, then, that Aircraft 69 will now be used to train a new generation of aviation professionals right here in Hawaiʻi," said John W. Adams, Hawaiian Airlines chairman, chief executive officer and president.

After serving Hawaiʻi residents and visitors from around the world for over 20 years, the aircraft will now serve future aviation technicians as an educational tool at PATC, a HCC program which offers professional training in the aviation fields of flight training, aircraft maintenance, aviation safety, air traffic management and aviation management operations. PATC plans to incorporate the DC-9 into its curriculum as the aircraft offers a complete package for which to teach students about hydraulics, pneumatics, structures, warning systems, engines, inspection, wheels, brakes, landing gears, electrical systems, avionics, doors and windows, and system pressurization.

"This is an excellent example of the tremendous impact on student development that can be achieved when the university and the business community work together to educate and prepare our students for their future careers," said Evan S. Dobelle, University of Hawaiʻi president. "Hawaiian Airline‘s generosity is an investment in the success of our students and our program, as well as the success of their company as we train the aviation technicians of today and tomorrow."

This particular aircraft was delivered to Hawaiian Airlines from the factory on July 11, 1978, and its last flight was on October 27, 2001. It holds the record for the most cycles (one take-off + one landing = one cycle) of any aircraft in the airline‘s interisland fleet with 95,132 cycles. A total of 33 DC-9‘s of various models have been used by Hawaiian Airlines since 1966. It has since replaced its entire interisland fleet with 13 Boeing 717-200 aircraft.

The aircraft is also presenting itself as a learning tool for the UH College of Engineering. With its record number of cycles, the airframe provides tremendous insight for engineering students into fatigue factors, metallurgy stress and the effects of corrosion. The College of Engineering is presently conducting research in metal corrosion at various locations in Hawaiʻi, and the DC-9 will be an excellent test bed for research on the impact of high cycles in the corrosive salt air of the islands on aircraft structures.

PATC is comprised of two programs — the Aeronautics Maintenance Technology Program and the Commercial Aviation Program. In cooperation with state and federal agencies and foreign governments and commercial air carriers, PATC provides essential aviation training to foster safe aviation practices throughout the Pacific. The program has trained over 5,000 aviation technicians with students coming from Hawaiʻi and the mainland as well as Japan, Korea and China. Several of Hawaiian Airlines‘ current employees were also trained and certified through the Honolulu Community College program.

Founded in Honolulu 72 years ago, Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaiʻi‘s longest-serving and largest airline. The nation‘s 12th largest airline, it is also the second-largest provider of passenger service between the West Coast and Hawaiʻi. Hawaiian connects more U.S. cities to Hawaiʻi with daily nonstop service than any other airline.