KANEOHE, Hawaii — The flight data recorder of a large U.S. Navy plane that overshot a runway and ended up in the water near Honolulu this week has been recovered as the military continues to plan for the aircraft’s removal.
The Navy’s Aircraft Mishap Board is investigating on scene at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, trying to determine the cause of the accident and any contributing factors, the Navy said Friday in a statement.
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 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.
There were no injuries to the nine people aboard the plane during Monday’s accident at the base, which is located about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Honolulu on Oahu.
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.