The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released the underwater photos of the Transair Boeing 737 that ditched off the coast of Honolulu-Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Friday.
The cargo aircraft made an emergency landing 2 miles off the coast while returning to Honolulu Airport a few minutes after the take-off. The Boeing 737-200C had departed Honululu’s runway 08R as flight 810 at 01:33 local time.
The pilots were forced to return back to Honolulu after they reported an engine problem shortly after departure. After the crew suffered difficulties in seeing the airport, the ATC gave heading instructions to return back.
“We’ve lost number one engine, and we’re coming straight to the airport. We’re pretty low on speed. It doesn’t look good,” said one of the pilots, according to audio recordings.
The control tower recommended to divert to nearby Kalaeloa Airport after it received a low altitude warning from the aircraft. However, the pilots made an emergency landing in the water after facing difficulties in maintaining the altitude.
“Are you able to climb at all?” a controller can be heard asking the pilots. “Negative,” one of the pilots responded.
Both the crew members were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Honolulu fire department. The wreckage is now resting in multiple pieces, hundreds of feet underwater on the ocean floor. The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board.
According to NTSB spokesman Chris O’Neil, they conducted extensive scans of the area and took photos using a remotely operated vehicle to get to the wreckage. In a statement, the spokesperson said:
“The depth of wreckage is too deep for us to deploy divers … so the investigative team is now going to develop plans to recover the aircraft.”