Investigators to search ocean off Hawaii for cargo plane


HONOLULU — Federal investigators said they will search the ocean floor near Honolulu for a cargo plane that crashed into the Pacific last week in hopes of finding recorders that could hold clues about what caused the aircraft to go down.

Both pilots survived after their Boeing 737 crashed Friday as they were trying to return to the airport in Honolulu. The pilots had reported losing power in one engine and being concerned about the other engine also failing.

The National Transportation Safety Board said investigators planned to use sonar on Monday to survey the debris field where the plane sank so they can recover devices that record information from the plane and capture cockpit sounds. The so-called black boxes can provide vital clues about the cause of a crash.

The safety board said knowing the location, condition and depth of the wreckage will help it determine how to retrieve the records and whether to salvage the plane.

The 46-year-old plane was operated by Rhoades Aviation as Transair Flight 810. It was scheduled to fly from Honolulu to Kahului, Hawaii, but went into the ocean several miles offshore, according to authorities. Both pilots, the only people on board, were seriously injured and were clinging to packages and the tail of the plane when they were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, authorities said.

The safety board said it met Saturday with others who will be involved in the investigation, including representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration, Rhoades Aviation, Boeing, engine maker Pratt and Whitney and air traffic controllers.

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