U.S. Navy C-2A Aircraft Carrying 11 Crew And Passengers Crashed In The Ocean Southeast Of Okinawa

Nov 22 2017 - 9 Comments

C-2 Greyhound COD confirmed involved in the crash.

According to the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet, a United States Navy C-2A aircraft belonging to VRC-30 “Providers” carrying 11 crew and passengers crashed into the ocean southeast of Okinawa at approximately 2:45 p.m. local time on Nov. 22.

“Personnel recovery is underway and their condition will be evaluated by USS Ronald Reagan medical staff. The aircraft was en-route to the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), which is currently operating in the Philippine Sea. USS Ronald Reagan is conducting search and rescue operations. The cause of the crash is not known at this time.”

160707-N-NF288-020 SOUTH CHINA SEA (July 7, 2016) Distinguished visitors from Cambodia land on the flight deck of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Ronald Reagan, the Carrier Strike Group Five (CSG 5) flagship, is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jamaal Liddell/Release

The official release did not initially specify the type nor the unit of the aircraft involved in the crash. However, it seemed immediately quite reasonable to believe it is a C-2 Greyhound involved in a COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) mission. Indeed, the Grumman C-2A Greyhound is a twin-engine, high-wing cargo aircraft, designed perform the COD mission to carry equipment, passengers (including occasional distinguished visitors) supplies and mail to and from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, “ensuring victory at sea through logistics.”

8 out 11 people on board have been found. SAR operation underway to find and rescue the missing ones.

According to the U.S. Navy:

Eight personnel were recovered by the “Golden Falcons” of U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC 12). The eight personnel were transferred to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) for medical evaluation and are in good condition at this time.

“Our entire focus is on finding all of our Sailors,” said Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton, Commander, Task Force 70. “U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft are searching the area of the crash, and we will be relentless in our efforts.”

USS Ronald Reagan is leading search and rescue efforts with the following ships and aircraft: U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63); MH-60R Seahawk helicopters of the “Saberhawks” from U.S. Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM 77); P-8 aircraft from the “Fighting Tigers” of U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron (VP) 8; P-3 Orion aircraft of the “Red Hook” U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron (VP) 40; Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Helicopter Carrier Japan Ship (JS) Kaga (DDH 184); and JMSDF Hatakaze-class destroyer Japan Ship (JS) Shimakaze (DDG 172).

This is the 6th C-2 lost since the type entered active service (a prototype YC-2A was lost on Apr. 29, 1965, during a test flight resulting in 4 fatalities):

 

  • On Oct. 2, 1969, C-2A BuNo 152796 from VRC-50, carrying 6 crew members and 21 passengers crashed in the Gulf of Tonkin en route from Naval Air Station Cubi Point to USS Constellation in the Gulf of Tonkin. All the 27 POB were killed but since their bodies were never recovered, they are listed as MIA (Missing In Action).
  • On Dec. 15, 1970, C-2A BuNo 155120 from VRC-50 crashed shortly after launch from USS Ranger, killing all 9 POB (4 crew members and 5 passengers).
  • On Dec. 12 1971, C-2A BuNo 152793 crashed en route from Cubi Point to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, resulting in the death of all 4 crew members and 6 passengers.
  • On Jan. 29, C-2A BuNo 155122 crashed while attempting to land on the USS Independence in the Mediterranean Sea, killing both crewmen.
  • On 16 November 1973, C-2A BuNo 152787 crashed into the sea after takeoff from Souda Bay, Crete. 7 of 10 POB died in the incident.

 

We will update this story as new details are made available.

In 2000, the C-2 began Service Life-Extension Program (SLEP) installations, which included improvements such as structural enhancements, dual ARC-210 radios, the Terrain-Awareness Warning System, the Traffic Collision-Avoidance System and a rewire of the aircraft to remove older and potentially hazardous Kapton wiring. Eight-blade NP2000 propellers were installed in 2010-2011. The Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system features components that expanded the aircraft’s communications capability by increasing the number of usable radio frequencies, therefore reducing channel congestion. As part of the navigation upgrade, a system combining Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment and an inertial navigation system were integrated to provide accurate positioning and velocity, allowing flight crews to perform precise landing approaches.

Top image: file photo of a C-2 Greyhound

 

  • BehindEL

    It’s been a tough year for the Navy. I’m praying all crew members are safely recovered.

  • Paul Rain

    Thank god they weren’t using Ospreys. Four or five would have gone in the same timeframe since the last accident with a real plane like the C-2.

  • Graeme Rymill

    The C2 has had 7 fatal accidents in 52 years. That is not a terrible accident rate.

  • Graeme Rymill

    Ditching in open ocean is always going to be high risk. There have been 7 fatal C2 crashes. All of them were crashes or ditchings into the ocean. Sixty six deaths resulted and only fifteen people seemed to have survived the crashes. Four of the fifteen died of exposure.

    Replacing the C-2 with the MV-22 may be a mistake. However criticizing the decision based on perceived ditching qualities is not useful.

    • leroy

      How a plane performs while ditching is very important to an air arm that does most all of its flying OVER WATER.

  • leroy

    The Navy just identified the three sailors killed. May they rest in peace, and hopefully the bodies are recoverable, along with the aircraft. That said, only one of the pilots died. That means we should get a good idea what happened when the other pilot’s debrief is made public.

    All of the survivors are in good conditions. This points to a well-executed ditching procedure IAW NATOPS. All involved are to be commended. Bad time of year for the families of the dead sailors:

    Navy IDs three sailors lost in plane crash in Philippine Sea

    The U.S. Navy identified the three sailors lost after a Navy plane crashed in the Philippine Sea shortly after takeoff from Japan on Wednesday. The Navy identified the three sailors lost at sea as: Lt. Steven Combs, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/11/25/navy-ids-three-sailors-lost-in-plane-crash-in-philippine-sea.html

    It’s been a tough year for the finest military aviation organization in the world.

  • remuda

    Trapping aboard is only a controlled ‘crash’, so any ‘walk- or swim-away’ is a good landing. Pickup is always a second drill for most. God Bless the USN…!

  • Gary Lewis

    The T56-A-425 on the C-2 is a series III engine. The Navy has not upgraded any of their T56 series III engines to the 3.5. They do have the NP2000 prop on the C-2. The E-2C/D has the T56-A-427/427A engine which is a Series IV engine. You can’t upgrade the III to a IV. There are some common parts but the gas path is completely different on the IV.

    • Curtis Conway

      I stand corrected. Does the T56-A-425 have FADEC?