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NTSB releases first images of cargo plane wreckage in deep waters off Oahu

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 2:38 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 9, 2021 at 5:14 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The NTSB has released the first underwater images of a Boeing 737 cargo plane that crashed off Oahu earlier this month and is now resting hundreds of feet underwater.

In an update issue Friday, the NTSB said the wreckage is in multiple pieces on the ocean floor.

Because it’s too deep, divers are not able to get to the site to recover the flight data and cockpit voice recorders ― crucial pieces that could help determine what caused the large cargo plane to come down.

Two pilots onboard Transair Flight 810 from Honolulu to Kahului were seriously injured in the crash, which happened July 2 shortly after takeoff.

Moments after they were rescued, the Boeing 737-200 wreckage sank.

The NTSB has released images of a cargo plane that ditched off Oahu.
The NTSB has released images of a cargo plane that ditched off Oahu.(NTSB)
The NTSB has located the wreckage of a Boeing 737-200 cargo plane that crashed off Oahu earlier...
The NTSB has located the wreckage of a Boeing 737-200 cargo plane that crashed off Oahu earlier this month.(NTSB)

Both engines apparently failed before they ditched it in the water.

“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,” one of the pilots told air traffic controllers, according to audio recordings.

A short time later, the pilots got a “low altitude alert.”

“Are you able to climb at all?” a controller can be heard asking. “Negative,” one of the pilots responds.

The NTSB said its initial team of investigators will be departing Oahu this weekend after conducting interviews of the flight crew, others who work for Transair, and FAA personnel.

[Previous coverage: 2 pilots rescued after Boeing 737 cargo plane crashes in water shortly after takeoff from Honolulu]

Investigators also looked at maintenance records, reviewed sister airplane so they could familiar themselves with the configuration, and ruled out any problems with the airplane’s fuel. Using a remote operated vehicle to get to the wreckage, they conducted extensive scans of the area and took photos.

Authorities said the scattered wreckage is about two miles off Ewa Beach and at a depth of 360 to 420 feet. Major components of the airplane were found, including the fuselage, wings, and both engines.

“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,” said NTSB spokesman Chris O’Neil.

This story will be updated.

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