Downed C-2A Greyhound located in Philippine Sea

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Navy photograph by PO2 Kenneth Abbate
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The U.S. Navy has located the wreckage of the C-2A Greyhound that crashed Nov. 22, 2017, killing three Sailors on board.

The Greyhound was traveling to the USS Ronald Reagan when it crashed in the Philippine Sea. It rests at a depth of about 18,500 feet.

The plane was located last week by a contracted salvage vessel that deployed a pinger locator that picked up the aircraft’s emergency signal.

The U.S. Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving deployed the team to Japan in December to embark a contracted salvage vessel and proceed to the crash site at sea.

Once on station, highly skilled operators searched for the aircraft’s emergency relocation pinger with a U.S. Navy-owned towed pinger locator (TPL-25) system. The TPL uses passive sensors to “listen” for the pinger’s frequency.

Sailors gather for a memorial service in honor of Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri, Lt. Steven Combs and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Chialastri, Combs and Grosso were aboard a C-2A Greyhound from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 when it crashed Nov. 22 during a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to USS Ronald Reagan.

Initially delayed by poor weather conditions, the team deployed the TPL to optimal search depths of 3,000 feet above the ocean floor Dec. 29. After marking the aircraft’s location, the search team returned to port.

The C-2A rests at a depth of about 18,500 feet, making the salvage phase of this operation the deepest recovery attempt of an aircraft to date. In the coming weeks, the team will return to the site with a side-scan-sonar and remote operated vehicle to map the debris field and attach heavy lines for lifting the aircraft to the surface. Despite very challenging conditions, every effort will be made to recover the aircraft and our fallen Sailors.

Assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC 30) forward deployed to Japan, the C-2A aircraft was carrying 11 crew and passengers when it crashed. Eight personnel were recovered immediately by U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC 12). For the next three days, Ronald Reagan led combined search and rescue for three Sailors with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, covering nearly 1,000 square nautical miles before ending the search.

An investigation is in progress.
 

Sailors gather for a memorial service in honor of Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri, Lt. Steven Combs and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso in the hangar bay of the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Chialastri, Combs, and Grosso were aboard a C-2A Greyhound from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 when it crashed Nov. 22 during a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to USS Ronald Reagan.

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