Navy plane that crashed on way to USS Ronald Reagan located in the Philippine Sea

YOKOSUKA, Japan – A Navy C-2A Greyhound plane that crashed while enroute to the USS Ronald Reagan in November has been located in the Philippine Sea.

Three Sailors were killed in the crash, while eight others were rescued.

The Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) deployed a team to Japan in December to embark on a contracted salvage vessel and went out to the crash site at sea.

They then searched for the aircraft’s emergency relocation pinger with a Navy-owned towed pinger locator system. It uses passive sensors to “listen” for the pinger’s frequency.

Initially delayed by poor weather conditions, the team found the aircraft on December 29th and  after marking the aircraft’s location, the search team returned to port.

The C-2A is resting at a depth of about 18,500 feet, making the salvage phase of the operation the deepest recovery attempt of an aircraft ever.

In the coming weeks, the team is expected to return to the site with a side-scan-sonar (SSS) and remote operated vehicle (ROV) to map the debris field and attach heavy lines for lifting the aircraft to the surface.

In a statement, the Navy says despite very challenging conditions, every effort will be made to recover the aircraft and the fallen Sailors.

An investigation into what caused the crash is ongoing.