NTSB to work to remove sunken cargo plane that crashed in waters off Oahu
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The National Transportation Safety Board held a briefing on Saturday, detailing its plans to recover a Boeing 737 freighter that crashed in the waters off Oahu.
The incident, which occurred on July 2, injured two pilots on board Transair flight 810, one seriously and the other in serious condition. Both survived.
Officials said the cargo plane was ditched in Mamala Bay shortly after take off from Honolulu International Airport. The plane was due to fly to Kahului when both engines failed.
After the crash, the plane sank to the ocean floor about three kilometers off the coast of Ewa Beach.
Authorities said the scattered wreckage was at a depth of 350 to 450 feet. Major components of the aircraft were found, including the fuselage, wings and two engines.
As the NTSB enters its third phase of investigation, officials said two main vessels are believed to be involved in the recovery. On board one of the vessels will be a primary remote operating vehicle, which will do most of the lifting of heavy loads.
“As there are no divers for this operation due to the depth, the ROV will be our workhorse and it will rig the pieces of the wreckage to prepare for its vertical lift for recovery,” said Lorenda. Ward, NTSB Senior Aviation Safety Investigator. .
“What’s unique about this takeover is that we basically have two pieces of the plane. When the plane landed on the water, it broke into two really big pieces, so instead of a fragmented plane, we’re going to be lifting two pieces, the heaviest weighing about 97,000 pounds.
Ward explained that the majority of the salvages she worked on involved more shards, and teams had much smaller pieces to work with.
During the operation, the loggers will also be recovered. Officials said the flight data recorder will provide information on the aircraft’s performance, while the cockpit voice recorder will provide insight into the challenges faced by the crew and how they have managed.
The NTSB said it expects the engines to be ashore in a few days and the rest of the wreckage in a week if weather and ocean conditions permit.
After the plane’s recovery, the NTSB said it would take another week to document and photograph the wreckage. Some exhibits will also be sent to their Washington DC office for further analysis.
The NTSB is working with the FAA and the United States Coast Guard with the goal of creating a safe zone around the area.
Officials said they were aware of the environmental impact of their operation and would be aware of sea turtles, whales and other endangered animals in the area during recovery.
Transair’s insurance company covers the cost of the recovery effort.
This story will be updated.
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