x
Breaking News
More () »

VIDEO: Tugboats navigate 737 aircraft under Buckman Bridge in Jacksonville

Because the decision was made not to remove the plane’s wings, they had to navigate with a maximum of about 16 feet between both wingtips and the bridge columns.

The 737 aircraft that skidded off a runway at NAS Jacksonville Friday night was successfully transported underneath one of Jacksonville's bridges with only 16 feet to spare on either side thanks to two skilled tugboat captains.

The barge carrying the 90,000-pound plane began traveling southward on the St. Johns River on Wednesday around 9 a.m., navigated by two tugboats. While there were support vessels nearby, many were concerned about the narrow pass the convoy would have to make underneath the Buckman on the way to Green Cove Springs.

“[The Buckman Bridge underpass] looks pretty narrow from a boat,” Jay Baldwin, a lifelong resident and boater in the area told First Coast News on Tuesday. “So with the wingspan of a plane intact, it’s going to be very close getting that thing through there. I’ll be shocked if they can get it through.”

The width space between the bridge’s vertical columns in the water is about 150 feet wide. The listed wingspan of a 737-800 aircraft is 117 feet, five inches. Because the decision was made not to remove the plane’s wings before transporting it, that means navigating with a maximum of about 16 feet between both wingtips and the bridge columns.

To make matters more complicated, a Navy spokesperson says that they had to complete the pass under the Buckman Bridge by 2 p.m.

However, it was all smiles as the barge smoothly passed underneath the bridge with tons of clearance on both sides.

Authorities anticipate the time of the barge movement from NAS Jax to the marina in Green Cove Springs will take around five hours.

WATCH | Time lapse footage of Boeing 737 being lifted from water, placed on barge for transport down

VIDEO:

MORE: Miami Air gives $2,500 to each passenger aboard the flight that skidded into the St. Johns River

MORE: Bodies of 2 cats, 1 dog recovered from Boeing 737 that skidded into St. Johns River

MORE: 'It's a miracle:' No fatalities, minor injuries after plane skids into St. Johns River with 142 people on board

Credit: First Coast News
Miracle on the St. Johns River

Paid Advertisement