HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The remnants of a Hawker Hunter jet that crashed off Oahu’s south shore in December has been recovered, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Coast Guard officials oversaw the recovery by a local salvage company which ended in the successful removal of the jet’s fuselage Tuesday.
“Using a blend of local salvage assets, remote engineering guidance, and advanced sensing technology sourced from the mainland, the locally based salvage company Parker Marine Corporation has completed the next stage of the aircraft salvage,” Chief Warrant Officer Russ Strathern, a marine safety specialist, and response officer at Sector Honolulu said.
“The main section of the fuselage containing residual oil and potentially hazardous substances has been salvaged and transported to a staging location for the ongoing National Transportation Safety Board led investigation,” Strathern added.
Officials said that there were no major negative impacts to the environment and there is no longer reason for concern.
The jet crashed on Dec. 12. The pilot was participating in Sentry Aloha military exercises when, for an unknown reason, his plane began to take a dive and he was forced to eject.
The pilot, 47-year-old Matt Pothier, was hospitalized and underwent back surgery as a result of the violent ejection. In the days following, he was in good spirits when he spoke to the media to detail the incident.
The plane sat submerged underwater for nearly a month. In early January, officials conducted exhaustive searches and eventually located the fuselage in 260-feet of water.
Once plans for recovery were set, the salvage company lassoed the tail of the aircraft wreckage with line and slowly raised it to the surface. It was later brought to shore for closer examination.
"I’m pleased to note that there were no reported injuries after the initial accident or impacts to wildlife, these are great measures of success, and indicative of the hard work of the involved parties,” Syrathern added.
The NTSB-led investigation is ongoing.