The United States Navy has said that the recovery of an aircraft that went down in November on a coral reef will cost an estimated $1.5 million.
According to Navy spokesperson Mohammad Issa, salvage operations are centered on ensuring the aircraft’s safe recovery while preserving its combat capabilities and conserving the environment. The procedure had already cost $200,000.
The jet aircraft crashed on November 20, and the Navy intends to move it off the reef using inflatable cylinders.
On December 2nd, the Navy released footage from beneath the sea. It showed the landing gear wheels on broken coral as the remainder of the aircraft floated in Kaneohe Bay.
Reports show that after missing the runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, the P-8A slammed into a delicate bay 10 miles from Honolulu. The nine on board were unharmed. Investigators will determine the cause.
The recovery mission is being led by Rear Adm. Kevin Lenox of Carrier Strike Group 3, and Lenox expressed confidence that the operation can be executed without causing more damage to the reef.
It has been reported that a crew from the Navy has managed to drain the plane of its fuel.
The aircraft weighs around 60 tons. The Navy contemplated bringing it onto land by floating it near the runway, where a crane might be used. Nevertheless, the decision was made to go with the inflatable cylinder since it was the safest alternative, wouldn’t harm the coral, and wouldn’t interfere with the plane. The Navy is optimistic they can get the aircraft back in the air.
Submarine search, surveillance, and reconnaissance are among the many uses for the P-8A in the Navy. The aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, is part of Washington state’s Patrol Squadron 4. Another crew from Whidbey Island has been sent to Hawaii to assume command of the squadron’s patrol duties.