MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Divers have recovered the bodies of three deceased pets that were in a military-chartered plane that skidded off the Naval Air Station’s runway in Jacksonville Friday night.
A dog and two cats were found deceased in their carriers. A cat that flew in the plane’s cabin was safely removed by the cat’s owner.
Thankfully all 143 people who were on board the plane survived.
“The sound of the collision. The sound of that bang, of that crash, keeps playing in my head. I feel lucky to be here,” said Darwing Silva.
Silva helped evacuate the plane.
“As soon as I stepped out to the wing and I saw that we were in the water, I couldn’t tell if we were in the deep. I couldn’t tell we were right off the shore,” he said.
The Miami Air International plane left from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Jacksonville. Silva said there was a five-hour delay and no air conditioning on his flight.
”Was there something that was overlooked? Was there something that was swept under the rug? Was there something that wasn’t reported,” Silva asked.
On the website, the airline says it’s providing support to passengers, crew, and their families. Miami Air also says the plane was built in 2001 and had its last maintenance check two days before it overran the runway.
Sunday, officials said during that check, crews found the left thrust reverser wasn’t working. That’s used to help slow down the plane.
“At some point, as they arrived in the area, the pilots requested to air traffic control that they change the direction of landing,” a National Transportation Safety Board official said.
NTSB officials said the pilots were told the Navy had a resting gear or wire barrier set up for recovery from Navy aircraft operating offshore in case they couldn’t land on the carrier. What that does is it essentially reduces the length of available runway. The barrier toward the end of the runway effectively shortened its length from 9,000 feet to 7,800 feet.
Investigators have recovered the undamaged flight data recorder, which was sent to Washington to be examined. But the cockpit voice recorder remains in the tail of the plane and is underwater.