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May 10, 2010, 09:04 PM
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habitforming's Avatar
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Cool

An intersection of hobbies - avaiation meets diving


I'm spending a week in Hawaii and today we dove a wreck of an SB2C Helldiver off the western coast of Maui. It was a pretty cool experience and I got some great pictures. It's in amazing condition for sitting in the ocean the last 60-70 years. I hope you all enjoy the pictures, and I'll gradually upload more as the days go by (really slow internet connection here, thanks AT&T).

Here's a ~2:30 clip of swimming all around the wreck:
(2 min 36 sec)
Last edited by habitforming; Apr 07, 2014 at 12:02 AM.
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May 10, 2010, 09:53 PM
Checking CG is for NERDS!
Smokescreen38's Avatar
Whoa... creepy and fascinating. Thanks for sharing the pictures!!

Do you know any history of the crash? Did the pilot make it out?
May 10, 2010, 10:48 PM
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waiting for the video.
May 11, 2010, 01:13 AM
Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
verticalspark's Avatar
Those look awesome! cant wait for more pics!
May 11, 2010, 01:49 AM
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habitforming's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Smokescreen38
Whoa... creepy and fascinating. Thanks for sharing the pictures!!

Do you know any history of the crash? Did the pilot make it out?
From what I understand, no one has identified the specific aircraft, so it isn't known who was flying it, when it crashed, or why. There was apparently a navy training facility on Maui during WWII and there are several Hellcats in the waters surrounding the island. I've read about one other and this one is in much better shape than the other.

It's a strange balancing act between cleaning up the aircraft to find ID info & not disturbing the marine life that has taken root over the last several decades, so I'm not sure we'll ever know the details of it.

I can say this, however. Judging by the condition of the aircraft, and the fact that both the pilot & gunner canopies were wide open, it seems like a very survivable crash and likely that they made it out. The rudder sits close enough to the rest of the wreck that even it probably remained intact during the impact, and seperated later due to corrosion or storm surge. All of the flying surfaces with the exception of the elevators were in very good shape. The wings practically still looked airworthy!

I might try to start the video upload tonight and let it run while I sleep. With a little luck it will finish before the connection drops.
May 11, 2010, 04:19 AM
The sky is my playground.
Dora Nine's Avatar
Very, very cool.
May 11, 2010, 06:18 AM
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Bill Glover's Avatar
Excellent pictures. The Hellcat is a single-seater though - no gunner!
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May 11, 2010, 11:07 AM
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habitforming's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Glover
Excellent pictures. The Hellcat is a single-seater though - no gunner!
Then this must not be an F6F, because there was definitely a seat at the rear of the cockpit. I couldn't make out the seat per se, but there were obviously some adjustment levers of some type, as well as the fact that the cockpit slid open there.

The dive guide was fairly certain it was an F6F Hellcat. I haven't compared info of it to the pictures I took though, so I'm open to suggestions if it must be something else.
May 11, 2010, 11:07 AM
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habitforming's Avatar
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Thanks for all of the interest, guys. I added the video to the first post. Let me know what you think!
May 11, 2010, 12:59 PM
Every flight is a maiden!
johnm15141's Avatar
From your third picture with large pitot tube on the left wing. That's a feature found on the TBF Avenger.
May 11, 2010, 01:41 PM
Airliner Builder
WAGliderGuy's Avatar
Awesome video and pictures! That must have been a blast.

How deep were you?
May 11, 2010, 03:28 PM
wine country wing nut
BlueSkyRiderX's Avatar
Thank you for sharing your underwater adventure. The footage taken is awesome. How deep were you diving with the wreck?
May 11, 2010, 03:37 PM
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roidspop's Avatar
Where is this site? I know of one off Kihei...thought it was upside down, though
May 11, 2010, 04:54 PM
work all night and fly all day
DIG2fly's Avatar
I have one of those. Mine is off Diamond Head at 110ft. look in my back ground to see
Last edited by DIG2fly; May 11, 2010 at 05:50 PM. Reason: add picture
May 11, 2010, 06:13 PM
Chief
awesome....


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