Searchers have found the wreckage of the Boeing 737 operating as Transair 810 on the floor of the Pacific, and there’s good news and bad news.

The 737 crashed after losing an engine shortly after departure from Honolulu last Friday night. The two pilots, miraculously, survived the nighttime ditching in the Pacific despite high swells. They had radioed with engine trouble and were not able to even maintain altitude on the one operating engine.

The photographs of the wreckage are stunning to see. The NTSB has released the images yesterday that were taken by a remote probe on the floor of the Pacific about two miles offshore from the Ewa Beach section of Oahu, Hawaii. Even though the plane’s major components were ripped apart in the ocean ditching, they were easy to find. That’s good news.

Underwater photo of Transair 810. Courtesy of the NTSB
Courtesy of the NTSB

The plane’s nose section, engines, and tail section were all found, so searchers are hopeful that they will be able to recover the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, which generally survive such crashes and generally have pertinent data.

The bad news is that the wreckage is deep, though not by Pacific Ocean standards. The major components lay on the floor about 400 feet below the surface. It’s too deep, the NTSB said, for divers to work the crash site, so it is evaluating its options at this point.

Underwater photo of Transair 810. Courtesy of the NTSB
Underwater photo of Transair 810. Courtesy of the NTSB

Regardless, the Board is likely to do whatever it takes to get the black boxes, especially the Flight Data Recorder, which hopefully will tell analysts just what happened to the plane’s engine or engines, helping them determine what went wrong and how to help prevent such accidents in the future.