Photos: Navy Makes Progress on Recovering P-8 Aircraft From Kaneohe Bay
The U.S. Navy is making progress on retrieving the wreck of a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that ran off the end of a runway at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii on Monday.
A Navy structural engineer has arrived from the mainland to determine the aircraft's integrity. The P-8 appears to be structurally intact, and there have no been apparent fuel leaks. Booms have been deployed around it as a precautionary measure, along with sorbent material. A skimmer is also on hand as a precautionary measure.
A new petroleum release would be politically unwelcome for the Navy in Hawaii. Last year, the state's congressional delegation and state government effectively compelled the service to shut down a strategic fuel facility after a major leak.
Third Fleet said in a statement that it will be carefully evaluating a "safe, expeditious and environmentally protective recovery plan" in collaboration with commercial salvors.
Images courtesy USN
At about 1400 hours on Monday, a P-8 Poseidon attempted to land on the main runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, on the windward side of Oahu. It failed to stop before the end of the pavement and skidded into the water, according to a Marine Corps spokesperson. The plane came to rest in shallow water just offshore.
Multiple federal and local first response agencies attended the scene. All nine crewmembers were able to make it to shore, and no injuries were reported.
The aircraft was assigned to the "Skinny Dragons" of Patrol Squadron 4, based out of Whidbey Island. It was tasked with a homeland security mission operating out of Hawaii, according to Third Fleet. A replacement has arrived to take over its patrol mission.
The Navy's P-8A squadrons rotate through forward base locations in the Western Pacific, including airfields in Hawaii, Guam and Japan. The plane is based on the ubiquitous 737-800 airliner and has a degree of parts commonality with the civilian aircraft; it is an acquisition success, costing far less than budgeted and attaining high marks in service. The P-8A is NATO's premier sub-hunting platform, and export versions are in use by half a dozen allied nations.