The flight data recorder of aand ended up in the water near Honolulu this week has been recovered as the military continues to plan for the aircraft's removal.
The surveillance plane flying in rainy weather overshot a runway Monday at a military base in Hawaii and splashed into Kaneohe Bay, but all nine aboard were uninjured, authorities said.
The Navy's Aircraft Mishap Board is investigating on scene at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, trying to determine the cause of the accident and any contributing factors, the Navy said Friday in a statement. Marine Corps Base Hawaii is about 10 miles from Honolulu on Oahu. The base houses about 9,300 military personnel and 5,100 family members. It's one of several key military installations on Oahu.
Sailors from a mobile diving and salvage unit retrieved the data recorder Thursday and conducted a hydrographic survey to assess the P-8A plane's structural integrity. The recorder contains data on flight parameters such as altitude, airspeed, and other important information.
Aircraft expert Peter Forman told Hawaii News Now the runway at the base is shorter, and bad weather and winds may also have played a part.
The survey also assessed the coral and marine environment around the plane, which will aid them in minimizing impact during its removal, the Navy said.
Kaneohe Bay residents have expressed concerns about possible coral reef damage and other potential harm from fuel or other chemicals in the area, which is about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) from an ancient fishing point.
The Navy said it has put primary and secondary containment booms around the airplane, along with other absorbent materials. Specially trained personnel are monitoring the area 24 hours a day.
The P-8A is often used to hunt for submarines and for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. It is manufactured by Boeing and shares many parts with the 737 commercial jet.
The plane belongs to the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron 4, stationed at Whidbey Island in Washington state. Patrol squadrons were once based at Kaneohe Bay but now deploy to Hawaii on a rotating basis.
Another crew from Washington state, the VP-40 Fighting Marlins, arrived Thursday to assume homeland defense coverage, the Navy said.
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