by KOMO News Staff

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. — Recovery efforts are underway for the floatplane that crashed off of Whidbey Island early in September.

“We were able to get the engine up on Wednesday and today were able to get up 80 percent of the plane, almost the entirety,” said Jennifer Homendy, NTSB Chair

The plane crashed over Labor Day weekend, killing 10 people including a child and the pilot.

A representative from Island County Emergency Management confirmed some human remains have also been recovered with the plane wreckage.

Schroeter Goldmark & Bender (SGB), which is representing two of the families who have lost loved ones in the crash, sent a statement to KOMO news:

“Words cannot adequately convey the depth of our grief.” The Hilty Family said (on behalf of decedents Lauren Hilty, Ross Mickel, Remy Mickel, and Luca Mickel). “The past three weeks have been absolute torture as we continue to anxiously await the retrieval of the plane and, more importantly, our loved ones. Our hope is this retrieval process is successful, but we know this is just the first step on our long, painful road ahead.”

Pieces of the plane were seen on the barge Thursday afternoon including the engine, a wing and a propeller.

“Words cannot adequately convey the depth of our grief,” the Hilty family said. “The past three weeks have been absolute torture as we continue to anxiously await the retrieval of the plane and, more importantly, our loved ones. Our hope is this retrieval process is successful, but we know this is just the first step on our long, painful road ahead.”

On Monday, the NTSB put the equipment in place for the recovery with a vessel outfitted with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and a crane. The recovery process began on Tuesday and teams worked around the clock 24/7 to recover the plane.

“The crane will lift the aircraft wreckage pieces. The ROV will work on the seafloor collecting smaller pieces of wreckage into baskets and connecting the wreckage to the crane to be lifted,” an NTSB official said.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing but officials hope the wreckage will help determine what caused the crash and how to prevent other crashes from happening in the future.

https://katu.com/news/local/ntsb-navy-recovers-wreckage-of-floatplane-that-crashed-off-whidbey-island-national-transportation-safety-board