The mishap happened during landing at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay; all crew members safely escaped the aircraft.
A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, assigned to the VP-4 “Skinny Dragons” based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, overshoot the runway during landing at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, ending up in the water new the runway threshold. The crew, currently on detachment in Hawaii in support of maritime homeland defense, safely evacuated the aircraft after the mishap without immediate injuries.
The incident happened at approximatively 2 p.m. local time, when visibility was down to around a mile with wind gusts up to 21 miles per hour and mist, according to the National Weather Service. Base emergency services quickly responded to the scene, including federal firefighters, military police, air traffic control, fire rescue and waterfront operations, said a Marine Corps Base Hawaii spokesperson.
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Images published by Hawaii News Now show the aircraft surrounded by water some 50 yards offshore, where USNI News reports nautical charts indicate the bay’s depth ranges from 5 to 25 feet. A Navy statement says floating barriers were employed to protect the surrounding environment, while divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 worked overnight to help stabilize the aircraft.
The preliminary assessment indicates the aircraft is structurally intact, says the Navy, and there was no sign of fuel leaking from the aircraft. The U.S. 3rd Fleet activated a response team to address aircraft recovery, force protection, and environmental concerns. The Department of Health says they are monitoring the situation and confirmed it will oversee the plane’s removal with the military.
Since the P-8A’s introduction in service, this should the first mishap where the airframe might be considered a total loss. The Navy will assess the situation once the aircraft is recovered and then take a decision about the fate of this Poseidon. In the meanwhile, an investigation bill be launched to find the causes of the incident.