Amazing Timelapse Video Shows How The Navy Raised Its P-8A Poseidon From The Sea In Hawaii


P-8A video
A screenshot from the extraction video. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Cpl. Christian Tofteroo)

An interesting timelapse video shows the P-8A salvage operation at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

On Dec. 2, 2023, the U.S. Navy completed the recovery of the P-8A maritime patrol aircraft 169561 YD-561 belonging to Whidbey Island, Washington-based Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 “Skinny Dragons,” that overshot the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, coming to rest on coral around 50 feet offshore on Nov. 20, 2023.

The operations to raise the Poseidon from the water began at 06.30AM and the last portion of the airframe, the nose wheel, lifted out of the water at 7 PM on the same day.

The process to raise the P-8 from Kaneohe Bay was described in detail by the U.S. Navy in a press release dated Dec. 5, 2023:

After staging all of the required equipment on Thursday, Nov. 30, and Friday, Dec. 1, Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1, working alongside local and off-island specialists, and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Supervisor of Salvage (SUPSALV) arrived before sunrise on Saturday, Dec. 2, to begin inflating the salvage roller bags used to extract the aircraft from the water. Under the close observation of divers, the aircraft was lifted higher in the water and off any coral by 8:30 a.m. The aircraft was rotated and floated into position next to the runway by 10:30 a.m.

“The team spent a lot of time using bags of different sizes – inflating and deflating – to make small adjustments to the aircraft,” said Lenox. “Sometimes it took an hour to get everything right just to move the aircraft five feet.”

Once on land, the salvage crew reinforced the bags and wheels, locked down the gears on the pulling machines, and placed absorbent material between the aircraft and the bay as a precaution. They continued pulling the aircraft on bags up the ramp to a flat area on the runway. The team then lowered the plane onto jacks, swapped out all six tires, inspected the landing gear – assessed it as sound, and then towed the aircraft to the washrack for a freshwater rinse.

The aircraft is in a parking spot where it will be available for the investigating teams and where Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Ten will begin the reclamation and repair process.

An interesting timelapse video released on Dec. 15 shows the P-8A Poseidon being extracted from waters just off the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay.

An investigation of the mishap to determine the cause(s) is underway. The P-8A crew, from VP-4 was on a detachment to Kaneohe Bay in support of maritime homeland defense. There were nine crewmembers on board. All of them safely evacuated the aircraft and no injuries were reported. Despite the speculations on social media, there is no evidence an all-female crew was involved in the mishap.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


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