Three are confirmed dead following a Monday crash of an EA-6B Prowler originating out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, according to local press reports.
“Lincoln County Sheriff Wade Magers said three people were killed in the crash,” reported The Spokesman-Review.
Navy officials did not confirm the deaths when reached by USNI News.
The Prowler went down at 8:45 a.m.PST during a training flight, Navy officials told USNI News. The Prowler was part of Navy Electronic Attack Squadron VAQ-129, based at NAS Whidbey Island. The Navy has flown out investigators to the crash site to determine the cause of the crash, the Navy confirmed.
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“A pair of Navy jets were flying in the area this morning, Magers said. One of the aircraft, described as a spotter plane, reported the crash and then returned to base because it was low on fuel,” reported the The Spokesman-Review.
Stan Dammel, manager of nearby Odessa Municipal Airport, photographed the crash site while flying over.
“It looked like an ink spot down there,” Dammel told the paper.
The EA-6B is a carrier-based aircraft that specializes in jamming and destroying enemy air defenses and is flown by the Navy and the Marine Corps. The airframe has been in service since the early 1970s and is based on the A-6 Intruder airframe.
The Prowler is manned by a pilot and up to three Electronic Countermeasure Officers.
The airframe is in the process of being replaced in Navy by the EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.