The wreckage of a floatplane that crashed in Washington recently has been located on the seafloor, hundreds of feet from the surface. This discovery was made using sonar technology.
The deep waters and constant motion of the tides within the sound have hidden the wreckage from those searching for the plane and the crash victims. A large piece of debris similar to the length and the width of the downed plane was detected this weekend. This discovery sits nearly 200 feet below the water’s surface.
Officials Have Been Uncovering Small Debris From The Floatplane Wreck
Shortly after the crash recovery officials were able to recover some small pieces of debris. Not long afterward the body of one of the floatplane’s passengers, 29-year-old Gabby Hanna was recovered and identified.
Officials also recovered personal items of other passengers on board the plane at the time of the September 4 crash. Some of these items include fragments of the plane’s float pieces, a seat cushion, and a seatbelt. Also recovered are some personal items from the victims as well as some of the floatplane’s flooring.
Witnesses have said that the plane just “disappeared” into the water when it went down. Nine other people are still unaccounted for. This includes the floatplane’s pilot and the other eight passengers.
According to witness reports, investigators worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory to comb a 1.75-by-0.75-mile area where the plane was believed to have crashed.
A Remote Vehicle Will Be Recovering The Wreckage Due To The Depth And Currents In The Area
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that a remote vehicle will be brought in to recover the wreckage. This is the safest option, officials note. Due to the extreme depth of the wreckage as well as the currents that get as strong as 3 to 5 knots.
The NTSB officials note that bringing the wreckage to the surface will help them learn more about the crash. Hopefully leading to a final analysis regarding the cause of the tragedy.
Mourning The Victims Of The Deadly Crash
The US Coast Guard named the missing passengers who are now presumed dead shortly after the plane crashed into the sound. The pilot is identified as Jason Winters. The tragic crash also claimed the lives of Joanne Mera, Patricia Hicks, Luke Ludwig, and Rebecca Ludwig, and prominent local activist Sandy Williams.
Other passengers include the owner of the Woodinville-based Ross Andrew Winery, Ross Andrew Mickel. The crash also claimed the life of his pregnant wife, Lauren Hilty, and their son Remy Mickel. Lauren Hilty is the younger sister of actress Megan Hilty.
Megan Hilty took to social media not long after the news hit, revealing that her sister was eight months pregnant with a baby boy at the time of the crash. The couple also has a young daughter, who was not on the plane.
“The last three days have been the worst of our lives,” Hilty writes.
“There are truly no words to appropriately convey the depth of our grief,” she continues.