NTSB recovers flight recorders, wreckage of TransAir cargo plane from ocean floor
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Three months after a TransAir cargo plane crashed off Kalaeloa, a salvage team has recovered both of the aircraft’s flight recorders and the majority of the wreckage.
Two pilots on board ditched the plane in the water shortly after takeoff from Honolulu’s airport after both engines failed.
Off Oahu’s Leeward Coast, salvage crews spent several days last month recovering the mangled pieces of TransAir cargo flight 810. Each section was carefully hoisted from the ocean floor more than 350 feet to the surface.
The wreckage was then transported to a warehouse back on shore.
“It’s high-tech stuff. But you know what? It’s really what makes aviation so safe,” said aviation expert Peter Forman. “They really get into the nuts and bolts and figure out what happened in cases like this.”
Forman said the recovered flight recorders will play a critical role in the investigation.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board say the pieces have been shipped to a laboratory in Washington ― where they will be cleaned, dried, downloaded and analyzed.
“The cockpit voice recorder tells you what the conversations were between the pilots and that adds a lot of context as to what happened,” said Forman.
“The flight recorder saves a lot of the parameters but I think they’re most interested in what happened to the engine. When did the second engine start to quit?”
NTSB officials confirm the plane’s engines will be inspected in California.
Forman says findings from the black box coupled with the condition of the engines should help investigators pinpoint the cause of the crash.
“They can compare what they have in theory, what they believe the data shows them and they can possibly look at the engines themselves and see if the condition of the engine supports that theory,” Forman said.
Because the crash remains under investigation, officials at TransAir declined to provide comment for this story.
The company has not been able to fly because of issues the Federal Aviation Administration found with its maintenance manuals system. The company says it’s working with the FAA to fix the problem. A spokesperson added the issue was not related to the crash.
The two pilots onboard the plane when it went down July 2 suffered serious injuries but both men survived.
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