Friday, November 24, 2017

U.S. Navy Ends Search for Three Sailors Missing in Plane Crash: The Grumman C-2A Greyhound crashed near Japan with 11 passengers and crew onboard

A C-2A Greyhound launches from the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan on November 17, 2017.

The Wall Street Journal
By Alastair Gale
Updated Nov. 23, 2017 11:35 p.m. ET

TOKYO—The U.S. Navy said it has ended search-and-rescue operations for three missing sailors after one of its cargo planes crashed near Japan.

A C-2A Greyhound aircraft carrying 11 passengers and crew from Japan crashed on Wednesday en route to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which is operating in the Philippine Sea.

Eight people were rescued and are in good health, the Navy said.

The Navy said in a statement Friday that it ended rescue operations at 10 a.m. Japan time (8 p.m. ET Thursday). It said the names of the lost sailors were being withheld pending completion of next-of-kin notifications.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families,” said Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, Commander, Task Force 70, according to the statement.

The Navy said it is conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash. A Pentagon official said Wednesday there was no indication in the first hours after the crash of any foul play or attack.

The C-2A aircraft is a workhorse of the Navy that was first introduced in the 1960s and delivers passenger and cargo to aircraft carriers. The current generation of C-2A aircraft were delivered in the 1980s and have gone through upgrades in recent years to extend their lifespan.

The last fatal accident involving a C-2A was in 1973, when a U.S. Navy plane crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff in Greece, killing seven people, according to the Aviation Safety Network website. In that incident, both engines lost power due to suspected fuel contamination with water.

The most recent accident occurred in 2005, when a C-2A belly-landed at an airport in the U.S. due to problems with its landing gear.

The Navy plans to replace the C-2A in coming years with Osprey aircraft that can hover like helicopters.

The lost sailors in this week’s C-2A crash follow a total of 17 fatalities for the Navy’s Seventh Fleet after two ship collisions this year. In the wake of the collisions, the commander of the Seventh Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, was fired. The Seventh Fleet is based in Yokosuka, Japan.

Original article can be found here ➤

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