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By Sohail Sawlani

Lucky Escape: TransAir Flight 810 Black Boxes Recovered After 3 Months.

It was July 2, 2021. TransAir Flight 810 departed from Honolulu International Airport (Daniel K Inouye International Airport) at 0145 local time, heading for Kahului International Airport. There were no passengers onboard the Boeing 737, only two pilots, as it was a cargo flight. The aircraft used on the flight was N810TA, a 46-year-old Boeing 737.

Shortly after departure, the crew reported issues with both engines and decided to ditch the aircraft in the nearby waters as they could not make it back to the airport on time.

The ditching was somewhat successful as luckily, all the people onboard (the two pilots) managed to escape the deadly situation. The aircraft however, sustained bad damage, broke into two pieces, and sank down to an ocean shelf, 140 meters below ground level.

The cargo company has since been temporarily grounded after investigators looked into their safety practices.

A month later, on October 12, a recovery operation began and retrived the engines, landing gear, fuselage and cargo of the aircraft. Today, on November 2, 2021, the black box, also known as the flight data & cockpit voice recorders) of the aircraft were located. They will be reviewed at the NTSB Washington lab in order to find out exactly what happened. We will keep you updated in a future article, in about a years time when the review is complete.

"The recovery of the recorders and virtually the entire airplane represents a major step forward in the investigation, "NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said in the statement.

"We are so appreciative of the collaborative efforts of the federal and state agencies, parties and contractors that contributed to this successful outcome, " the NTSB’s Homendy added.

However, not everyone survives in most circumstances. The pilots on this flight were lucky. Lets take for example Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961. The flight got hijacked and the pilots did everything they could to rescue the passengers, but some still passed on. The survival rates of an aircraft ditching are very low. On the bright side, aircraft ditching on commercial flights rarely happen, probably only twice every 2-3 years.

Image: © NTSB

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Written by: Sohail Sawlani
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