How Hamilton County divers recovered downed airplane from Chickamauga Lake
Over the last few days, Hamilton County crews searched Chickamauga Lake with side-scan sonar for the plane that crashed earlier this week.
Once they located the aircraft Thursday, divers determined a plan to get it removed.
READ MORE | UPDATE: Portion of plane wreckage pulled from Chickamauga Lake
“Divers will go down to assess the wreckage looking for structural integrity that is there with the aircraft," Matt Lea, with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said, said. “Then trying to figure out the best way to put attachment points to bring the aircraft to the surface.”
Actual removal of the aircraft from the lake is conducted by private contractors.
Those contractors work in partnership with the victims’ insurance company, which is responsible for insuring the aircraft.
“It is a part of the recovery effort. That's machinery, diving equipment, things of that nature that the contractors will be using to assess the damage,” Lea said. “Hopefully, at some point in the near future lift the aircraft with help from a barge of some sort or a crane.”
The aircraft will be placed in a secure location that was approved by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB.)
The investigation will continue once the government shutdown is over and NTSB and FAA can finish collecting the evidence.
“It's important to have the instruments to examine and look at the control board,” former NTSB Chairman Jim Hall said.