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Offbeat WWII plane that crashed into the ocean off the coast of Hawaii 77 years ago is revealed again in stunning image with the help of sonar data and scans of the seafloor

04:55  15 january  2020
04:55  15 january  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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77 years ago is revealed again in stunning image with the help of sonar data and scans of A plane wreck was found in 1999 off the coast of O'Ahu, Hawaii by a remote operated vehicle. create stunning and detailed images of the Grumman TBF Avenger that went missing off the coast of

77 years ago is revealed again in stunning image with the help of sonar data and scans of A plane wreck was found in 1999 off the coast of O'Ahu, Hawaii by a remote operated vehicle. create stunning and detailed images of Using multiple scans of the seafloor and sonar data , the team

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Using multiple scans of the seafloor and sonar data , the team was able to create stunning and detailed images of the Grumman TBF Avenger that The crew of the third plane escaped and were eventually rescued. The crash site was first discovered in 1999 while researchers from the Hawaii

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Experts have resurrected a war plane that laid hidden in the Pacific Ocean for 77 years.

Using multiple scans of the seafloor and sonar data, the team was able to create stunning and detailed images of the Grumman TBF Avenger that went missing off the coast of O'Ahu, Hawaii in 1942.

The images show nearly intact wings, fuselage and crew positions – the only area that seems degraded is the cockpit.

On October 11, 1942, three U.S. TBF-Avenger aircraft from squadron VT-3 collided during a training flight off Naval Air Station Kaneohe, sending the Grumman TBF Avenger to a watery grave 300 feet below the surface.

Two of the aircraft crashed into the water immediately at the time of the incident.

All six crew members of these two aircraft were killed and remain missing in action.

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The crew of the third plane escaped and were eventually rescued.

The crash site was first discovered in 1999 while researchers from the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) were conducting a deep-water biological survey.

A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) filmed the plane as it swam over the area and then spotted a second site of debris about 2,000 feet away.

A ship-based multibeam scan of the area was performed by Rob Kraft of R/V Petrel, and very near to where the HURL team photographed an aircraft, were the signs of man-made debris.

A second survey, using an UUV collecting very high-resolution side scan sonar data, confirmed an object approximately the same size and shape of an aircraft on the ocean floor.

To accurately map, record, and identify the wreckage, high-resolution video cameras deployed on R/V Petrel's Argus 6000 ROV recorded data over a two-day period.

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Pietruszka, the lead archeologist for Project Recover described the find: 'The unmistakable wreckage of a TBF-Avenger lying in over 330 feet of water 'appeared onscreen.'

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The wings looked nearly intact, as did portions of the fuselage. The cockpit area had degraded but all three crew positions were still clearly identifiable.'

The scans show the engine sat about 164 feet from the plane, but the tail of the aircraft has not been located.

According to records, the type of craft, location and wreckage matches with the historical data of the two VT-3 Avengers on October 11, 1942.

R/V Petrel supported the project during its return voyage from Midway where its crew recently discovered two Japanese aircraft carriers, IJN Kaga and IJN Akagi.

'This project was a great bookend to our Midway Survey,' said Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Vulcan Inc. 'VT-3, assigned to the USS Yorktown, was one of three Torpedo Squadrons that took part in the battle of Midway.'

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Microbes on the seafloor are responsible for essential ecosystem services, said Beth Orcutt, a senior researcher at Bigelow, who urged caution WWII plane that crashed into the ocean off the coast of Hawaii 77 years ago is revealed again in stunning image with the help of sonar data and scans

Although no torpedo bomber scored a direct hit on the Japanese task force, their attack is credited with opening the way for US dive bombers to strike that ultimately resulted in the sinking of four Japanese aircraft carriers.

'With VT-3 having suffered tremendous casualties at the Battle of Midway this site is associated with the airmen replacing those lost in that battle,' said Kraft.

Site details will be shared with the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) to evaluate the site for the possible recovery of remains.

And the DPAA will recover the plane wreckage, as well as notify the families of the men who were lost in the crash.

'Development of private-public partnerships with groups like Vulcan and the Friedkin Foundation are rapidly enabling our team to assist the U.S. Government in finding underwater MIA sites previously thought to be lost forever; and providing closure to families who have lost loved ones.' said Eric Terrill, an oceanographer at Scripps and co-founder of Project Recover.

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