(RepublicanJournal.org) – A US Navy aircraft recently had issues landing at a Hawaiian military base, with an apparent trajectory error leading to the plane crashing into the Kaneohe Bay. No one was hurt, but locals have expressed concerns over the environmental impact of such a disaster.
The accident took place on Monday, November 20, at roughly 1:57 p.m. at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, located on Oahu. The P-8A Poseidon aircraft, which had nine people onboard, attempted to land, but instead, it overshot the runway and crashed into the water. The craft, a modified Boeing 737 passenger plane, is typically used in intelligence and reconnaissance missions and can also seek out submarines. The exercise was part of a routine training mission.
Weather may have been a factor. Visibility was limited, allowing the pilot to see only about a mile ahead, and the area was experiencing heavy wind gusts that reached 21 miles per hour. The runway is also unusually short, with both sides ending in sudden drops into the ocean, and the pilot might not have touched down early enough to make the abrupt stop. Hawaii News Now adds that the runway was also wet, and the plane experienced tailwinds on its way down. These issues may have combined to create the perfect conditions for a crash.
The damage will likely cost taxpayers, as the aircraft was worth roughly $100 million. The plane currently sits stranded in a shallow part of the bay amid rocks and coral, and there’s no word on how long the wreckage removal process will take.
The military moved in quickly, using booms to contain fuel leaks. Officials haven’t given an assessment of the environmental damage the crash may have done to the delicate ocean ecosystem. The plane may have released other deadly chemicals, such as antifreeze, into the water as well.
Officials have recovered the “black box” flight data recorder and are still investigating the crash.
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