The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has said it will continue to search the ocean floor for the remains of the Boeing 737-200 freighter that crashed and sank off the coast of Hawaii over the weekend, an incident that saw two pilots miraculously saved from the water.
In a statement, the NTSB said it would introduce the use of sonar technology to search for the remaining debris of the Boeing aircraft, as well as its ‘black box’ – made up of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR).
The NTSB also announced it will speak with both pilots, the only individuals onboard the aircraft when it landed in the water, about the circumstances around the incident, when both have completed medical treatment for their injuries.
The agency will also speak with the relevant air traffic controllers and aircraft maintenance personnel.
A small amount of floating debris from the aircraft has already been recovered and examined, the agency said.
A spokesperson from Boeing said it had teams on the ground assisting in the NTSB investigation.
In the early hours on Friday, the 47-year-old Boeing 737-200F, operating Transair Flight 810, departed Honolulu at 1:33am local time headed for Maui’s Kahului Airport.
Shortly after take-off, the pilots were forced to turn back towards Honolulu, citing engine troubles, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Within minutes, the pilots, unfortunately, were forced to perform an emergency landing into the ocean near the coast, telling air traffic controllers they wouldn’t reach the airport before they lost their second engine.
The Coast Guard said it had responded to a report of a downed plane off the coast of Oahu at about 1:40am, and that both pilots miraculously survived the water landing and were rescued within the hour, with help from the Honolulu Fire Department.
One pilot was said to have been located on the 737’s tail fin, and was airlifted to safety and brought to Queen’s Medical Centre. The pilot was taken to intensive care in critical condition.
The second pilot was found on top of packages that had spilled from the aircraft, and was rescued by a Fire Department boat. He was reported to be in a serious condition with a head injury.
Both are being treated for their injuries, however the NTSB did not provide an update on their condition.