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U.S. Navy Sub-Hunting Plane Slides Off Runway on Oahu

P-8
USN file image

Published Nov 20, 2023 9:26 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, a U.S. Navy sub-hunting aircraft overshot a runway and went into the water just off Hawaii, prompting a swift rescue response. 

At about 1400 hours local time, a P-8 Poseidon based out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island landed on the main runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. 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 Kaneohe Bay, 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. Photos from the scene show that booms have been deployed around the plane to contain any pollution. 

The extent of damage to the aircraft is still under investigation. Bystander photos show that the radome on the nose is missing. 

The Kaneohe runway is about 7,800 feet long, shorter than the main runways at Pearl Harbor or Guam. Wind speed in Kaneohe at the time of the casualty was about 15 mph, gusting to 25 mph. 

Salvage plans have not yet been announced, and the extent of any impact or saltwater damage on the plane will have to be evaluated before a decision on its final disposition. Aircraft immersed in saltwater are rarely put back into service, and this aircraft is particularly vulnerable: it is packed with sensitive electronics for its surveillance and antisubmarine warfare missions. 

The Navy has about 120 P-8s in its inventory. If a replacement is needed, the recent purchase price is in the range of $200 million. Boeing still maintains a hot production line for U.S. Navy and export orders - at least until the end of this year, when the final domestic lot is completed.