Home » Aviation » UPDATED: 3 Sailors Missing, 8 Rescued Following C-2A Crash Near Okinawa


UPDATED: 3 Sailors Missing, 8 Rescued Following C-2A Crash Near Okinawa

A C-2A Greyhound assigned to the Providers of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, prepares to land on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with a statement from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

Three sailors are missing after a Navy C-2A Greyhound transport aircraft crashed off of Okinawa in the Philippine Sea on Wednesday, U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement.

Now, U.S. and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force ships and aircraft are conducting search and rescue operations in the Philippine Sea.

“At approximately 2:45 p.m. Japan Standard Time, Nov. 22, 2017, the C2-A aircraft with 11 crew and passengers onboard crashed into the ocean approximately 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa. The aircraft was conducting a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76),” read the statement.
“Reagan is operating in the Philippine Sea as part of an exercise with JMSDF.”

The Greyhound was assigned “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, Detachment Five, forward deployed at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.

Eight of the passengers were recovered about an hour after the crash at 3:23 p.m. local time and were taken for medical evaluation aboard Reagan. They are in good condition, according to 7th Fleet.

While the Navy often flies distinguished visitors and journalists to carriers via C-2s as part of the service’s public outreach programs, a statement from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson indicated those on the aircraft were U.S. sailors.

“Our sailors are in my thoughts and prayers as we perform search and rescue operations for a downed aircraft in the Philippine Sea. Eight of eleven sailors are safe and sound on USS Ronald Reagan,” said in a Wednesday morning statement.
“We continue to search for three.”

A parallel investigation into the crash is underway while the search and rescue effort continues.

A detachment of C-2s, some of the oldest planes in the Navy, accompany carrier strike groups as they travel throughout a deployment. They follow the strike group as it moves and ferry mail and passengers too and from the carrier at distances out of the range of a strike group’s helicopters.

The more than 50-year-old Greyhound design is set to be replaced by a variant of the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in the early 2020s.

The following is the complete statement from U.S. 7th Fleet.

PHILIPPINE SEA – Search and rescue operations recovered eight personnel following a C2-A Greyhound aircraft crash southeast of Okinawa at approximately 3:23 p.m. today.

All personnel were transferred to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) for medical evaluation and are in good condition at this time.

Search and rescue efforts for three personnel continue with U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships and aircraft on scene.

The names of the crew and passengers are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

At approximately 2:45 p.m. Japan Standard Time, Nov. 22, 2017, the C2-A aircraft with 11 crew and passengers onboard crashed into the ocean approximately 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa. The aircraft was conducting a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Reagan is operating in the Philippine Sea as part of an exercise with JMSDF.

The C2-A is assigned to the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Three Zero, Detachment Five, forward deployed in NAF Atsugi, Japan. Detachment Five’s mission includes the transport of high-priority cargo, mail, duty passengers and Distinguished Visitors between USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and shore bases throughout the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia theaters.

The incident will be investigated.

A family assistance center is online at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka. Families who live off base in Japan can call 0468-16-1728. Families living in the United States can call +81-468-16-1728 (international); families who live on base can call 243-1728 (DSN).

  • muzzleloader

    Considering the work horse the C-2 has been in the fleet for decades now, incidents like this have been very rare. Prayers for all involved.

  • DaSaint

    My thoughts and prayers are with those families of the missing sailors, especially during this holiday season. I pray God that they are found alive.

  • The Grummand C2-A carrier onboard delivery is a very reliable a/c, but difficult to exit in a crash landing at sea as I believe the two escape hatches are above the pilot and copilot positions. Normal passenger and crew ingress and egress is by the rear ramp when on deck or tarmac.

    • RDF

      E2 had one in the back also above crew. Not sure about C2. Amazing pilot effort to get this aircraft in the water in one piece. No mayday?

  • SDW

    Interesting differences between the text of the article and the Navy’ statement. The statement is more accurate while the article includes the background that readers ought to have.

  • RR USN ret

    It happens because the real world of flight ops at sea is a bit more challenging than launching f-bombs from a keyboard.

  • RDF

    You are an idiot. And I am a staunch Democrat. There is no politics at sea. No politics in the Fleet. Minor miracle this ditching was survived by 8 of 11. Go troll somewhere else.

    • FactChecker90803

      I fully agree with your assessment of “Progressive Democrat”, if anyone is to blame it’s Former Navy SecNav Ray Mabus, he pushed Social Change and Progressive Policies with in the Naval Services at times at the expense of rediness and professional development.

      As an example, my 27yo son is a Marine Aviator, he fly’s MV-22 Osperies. He related to me that during a safety stand down, the pilots and crew chiefs had to attend a Race Relations and Gender & Transgender seminar.

      There is a time and place for does seminars, but not in lieu of safety and rediness TRAINING.

      • RDF

        Standowns are always a PITA. Doesn’t mean they aren’t well intentioned. NATOPS testing. Every bureaucracy has to try and teach the savages not to Pee in the potted plants. This ditching and apparent loss of life has nothing to do with any socialization training. That is a good airframe with good engines. Something failed. Those aircraft are reaching EOL. they need replacement. That aircrew did amazing getting 8 out.

        • FactChecker90803

          There is a replacement, the CMV-22B will be replacing the C2A, although the CMV-22B will be able to make direct deliveries to ships other then carriers, the Aircraft will have drawbacks such as a lower speed 305 knots verses 343 knots and the range is 1,011 miles verses 1,500 for the C-2A.

          • RDF

            The AirWing flyby was always interesting with the E2 balls out and everyone else barely hanging on the blades.

  • incredulous1

    Is there any prelim info at all here? Mechanical, weather conditions? One thing I’m pretty sure of is that it wasn’t fuel exhaustion since this trip was from Iwakuni to a spot 500miles SE Okinawa and the C-2A has a range of 1500 miles and the were less than half capacity of people. But the cargo part we may never know of. Speaking of which, I doubt they would be careless, but shifting cargo has brought down more than a few airplanes…but that would prolly come under a training failure or procedure failure. We just cannot speculate without any additional specific info at all. If they’re in the water there are enough assets to find them that’s for sure.

  • George Hollingsworth

    If eight survived the aircraft didn’t “crash” at sea, it ditched at sea and hats off to the pilots. Surely there is some indication from the survivors as to what happened. An engine fire that could not be extinguished or runaway propeller maybe? Other fire originating with the cargo? The Navy’s statement is useless.