The US Navy (USN) has pulled the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that came down into the sea near Hawaii out of the water, setting the stage for the aircraft’s possible return to service.

The effort started at 06:30 local time on 2 December. The aircraft was initially floated near the runway and was fully out of the water by 19:00, according to the USN.

p-8 recovered

Source: US Navy

After being pulled from the sea near Hawaii, the aircraft will receive a freshwater washdown

The recovery team used floats and roller bags to support the aircraft and protect the marine environment.

“Our team went through a detailed planning process to develop the best course of action to get the P-8 out of the bay as quickly and as safely as possible,” says salvage operation leader Rear Admiral Kevin Lenox.

“The entire process took 13 hours. Most of the day was spent making small adjustments to the roller bags and the aircraft position to minimise impact to the coral band adjacent to shore. At times it took us an hour to move the aircraft five feet.”

The aircraft will be moved to a location where a freshwater wash down will take place. Following this, the jet will be assessed and potentially repaired before returning to operational status.

Poseidon number 561 overshot its landing on 20 November while touching down at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe on the island of Oahu. The aircraft settled partially submerged in shallow water just offshore from the coastal runway. All personnel aboard the jet evacuated safely. 

USN images show that apart from a missing radar and nosecone, the aircraft is largely intact, its landing gear able to support its weight.