The NTSB announced Tuesday that both flight recorders and all critical components of the Transair Boeing 737-200 cargo plane that crashed into the Pacific Ocean shortly after takeoff from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu in July 2 have been found.
After reporting problems in both engines, the crew abandoned the plane as Flight 810. Both pilots made it out alive. The wreckage was discovered at a depth of 350 to 450 feet on an ocean shelf.
“The recovery of the recorders and virtually the entire airplane represents a major step forward in the investigation,” said NTSB chair Jennifer Comedy. “We are so appreciative of the collaborative efforts of the federal and state agencies, parties, and contractors that contributed to this successful outcome.”
The fuselage split into two pieces, according to an underwater survey done in July at the accident site: the aft section, which included the wings and tail, and the front half, which included the flight deck. At impact, both engines detached from the wings. The fuselage’s forward landing gear component is also detached.
Four of the six cargo containers remained in the fuselage’s aft portion; during the initial search, personnel discovered the other two containers near the debris and a pallet of merchandise.
Transair’s insurance company hired multiple businesses to collect the debris and cargo in the months after the tragedy. The Eclipse Group, which operates the Bold Horizon, a San Diego-based research vessel with a remotely operated vehicle and other underwater recovery equipment, was one of the contractors.
The Salta Verde, a California-based barge, lifted the two fuselage portions and carried them to shore in Honolulu.
Meanwhile, contractors crated the engines in preparation for their return to the mainland, where they would be dismantled and examined by an NTSB investigator.
According to the NTSB, the investigation will include a comprehensive examination of the airplane structure, engines, systems, maintenance, survival factors, vehicle performance, air traffic control, human factors, federal oversight, and emergency response. It is expected to take 12 to 24 months to complete.
Featured Photo: Salvage experts recover the forward section of the fuselage of a Transair Boeing 737 from the Pacific Ocean (Photo: NTSB)