US Navy ROV, other assets to assist in aircraft salvage off Whidbey Island, Washington

US Navy remotely operated vehicle (ROV) similar to the one that will assist in the salvage effort following a fatal aircraft crash off Whidbey Island, Washington, on September 4, 2022 (Photo: US Navy)

The US Navy will deploy an unmanned vehicle and other assets to support the recovery of the wreckage of an aircraft that was lost in a fatal crash off Whidbey Island, Washington, earlier this month.

​​According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report, the aircraft, a DHC-3 floatplane, departed from Friday Harbor, Washington, at around 14:50 local time on September 4 with a destination of Renton Municipal Airport. At 15:09 that same day, the aircraft impacted the water and sank.

The pilot and nine passengers were fatally injured.

The investigation and preparations for recovery are ongoing. The main recovery effort to raise the wreckage will be led by the NTSB and is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 26.

The navy will use a ​remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a barge, and a crane to recover the wreckage from the seafloor.

The crane will lift the aircraft wreckage pieces. The ROV will work on the seafloor collecting smaller pieces of wreckage into baskets and connecting the wreckage to the crane to be lifted.

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