Recovering the week-old wreckage of a plane from approximately 70 feet underwater proved to be a challenging task for Sea Engineering in mid-December, according to KHON2. Sea Engineering, a marine salvage company, has more than 25 years of offshore and inland diving experience. None the less, the marine salvage team took a full day to raise the sunken Makani Kai Cessna Grand Caravan out of the waters off Molokai, Hawaii.
Why Was This Salvage a Challenge?
“It sounds like it should be easy, but it’s not that easy, ” said Michael Parker, the owner of Parker Marine, another salvage company in Hawaii, in reference to the recovery.
The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N687MA is a single turboprop engine that seats up to nine passengers. The plane is 41 feet long, weighs 8,500 pounds and has a wingspan of 52 feet. These specifications made the hopes of bringing up the aircraft in one piece unrealistic.
Since marine salvors are typically called upon to salvage boats, the plane salvage was a slight change of pace. Parker explained in the article, “Boats and aircraft are not much different, aircraft is a little more fragile and you have the wings span that are very fragile.”
What Was the Outcome?
After a long day of heavy lifting, the majority of the plane was recovered. Sea Engineering was able to recover the engine in surprisingly good condition. The salvage company towed the Grand Caravan into Honolulu Harbor in a 200-foot-long recovery ship. The plane will now be inspected by the NTSB and the manufacturer of the plane’s engine in order to find the cause of the wreckage.
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(Video via KHON2)
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