Teams spend hours recovering submerged plane - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Teams spend hours recovering submerged plane


Getting the single-engine plane above water was no easy feat. Divers spent hours in the water to accomplish the task.

We took a closer look at the process, from water level, and from Chopper 7.

Around ten A.M. the dive team was in the water. They had been there the day before placing air bladders beneath the plane to make sure it stayed put. Today they tackled the much more tedious task of lifting the plane to the surface. It took more time than they expected.

Trooper Lynn Hubert with DPS said," When they actually got that wing up I think that wind played an issue in actually getting the bags located and situated just exactly how they wanted them."

The wing acted like a sail pushing the plane around. The water inside the plane makes it so heavy that bringing it up quickly or allowing the wind to twist it would break it apart. The Federal Aviation Administration can conduct a much more efficient investigation if they plane is whole when they look at for the first time.

"We did safely get it up. Nobody was injured. And, you see it is up with very little damage to it," Trooper Hubert pointed out.

But, the job wasn't over yet. It had to be pulled to deeper water, then it was taken nearly two miles to the shore by a barge. The tailwind helped, but it was a slow tow. It took a couple hours before the plane could finally be lifted to shore.

The FAA will disassemble the plane and transport it to a secure facility to continue their investigation.

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