A salvage and diving team located and retrieved the Super Hornet sitting at 9,500 feet (2,895 meters) under the sea, UPI reports. With the help of a remotely operated vehicle, the team managed to attach special rigging and lift lines to the aircraft, so it could then be brought back to the surface with a lifting hook.
Instead of an aircraft carrier, the F/A-18 Super Hornet’s temporary “home” was a multi-purpose construction vessel named Everest, in charge of taking the wreckage to an undisclosed military facility. From there, it will make its way back to the U.S.
Although the Super Hornet was successfully recovered, there are still no official answers for the bizarre incident, with the U.S. 6th Fleet still investigating it.
Some experts suggested that it might have been a combination of highly-violent winds known as microbursts and the aircraft not being secured properly. Although the crew could have easily known that stormy weather was coming, they probably did not expect that it would lead to such strong winds.
In any case, the Super Hornet is not the first and most likely won’t be the last aircraft to be lost and then recovered by the Navy. Earlier this year, an F-35C Lightning II was recovered from an even greater depth in the South China Sea.