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NTSB recovers Boeing airplane debris off Hawaii in probe of emergency landing

NEW YORK, July 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board on Monday said it has recovered debris from a downed Boeing 737-200 cargo plane and will continue to investigated the cause of the aircraft’s emergency water landing off of Hawaii last week.

Investigators plan to use sonar technology to locate the decades-old plane and recover cockpit voice and flight data recorders, the NTSB said in a statement. The aircraft was forced to land in the Pacific Ocean early on Friday.

“Investigators plan to use side scan sonar Monday to survey the debris field, the condition of the airplane and its location, including how far beneath the surface the plane sank,” the NTSB said. “That information will be used to determine how and when the recorders could be recovered and then how and if the airplane will be salvaged.”

The pilots of the plane had reported engine trouble and plans to turn back to Honolulu shortly before being forced to land, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which is also investigating the incident, has said.

At about 2:30 a.m. that morning, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter responding to reports of the downed plane spotted a debris field and found one crew member clinging to the plane’s tail.

The NTSB said it is scheduling interviews with the flight’s crew, who were rescued, as well as air traffic controllers and maintenance workers. (Reporting by Laila Kearney, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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