A 2011 photo from Hawaiian Airlines shows a plane above Hawaii.(Photo: Chad Slattery, AP)
A quirky take-off time let a jet full of passengers return to the year 2017 after departing in 2018.
Hawaiian Airlines Flight 446 went wheels up from Auckland, New Zealand at 12:05 a.m. local time on New Year's Day before landing last year in Honolulu where it was 10:15 a.m. Dec. 31.
The scheduling curiosity was pointed out online by ABC7 transportation reporter Sam Sweeney, who described it as "time travel."
The flight was originally intended to depart Auckland at 11:55 p.m., according to flight data tracker FlightAware, before a 10-minute delay pushed its take off into the new year — making the jump back to yesteryear possible.
No flux capacitor necessary: It all comes down to Coordinated Universal Time, the world's time-telling standard known commonly as Greenwich Mean Time. Hawaii's time zone exists 23 hours behind that of New Zealand, enough to offset the nine-hour flight and let the flight land at 10:15 a.m.
One Twitter user, Anna Wallenstam, described it thusly:
"That happens every time a plane crosses the current midnight line — think of it as the border between the kingdoms of 2017 and 2018 — in the wrong direction on New Year’s," she said in a post. "In other words, it happens a lot. Still seems to surprise a lot of people every year."
Follow Josh Hafner on Twitter: @joshhafner
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