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Navy recovers plane involved in deadly crash on Eastern Shore

Japan US Aircraft
Posted at 3:21 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 20:29:09-04

ACCOMACK Co., Va. - The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday it has successfully recovered the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye that crashed in the area of Wallops Island and Chincoteague on March 30.

U.S. Navy divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 (MDSU 2) recovered the plane with collaboration from other interagency partners, as well local and federal actors. MDSU 2 specializes in salvage, a Navy mission area that includes recovery of submerged objects.

“As Navy divers, we stand ready to conduct diving and salvage operations in any environment,” said Cmdr. Steve Cobos, commanding officer of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2. “We are grateful we could use our salvage expertise to help clear the site and safely recover the aircraft for the community and the surrounding environment.”

Safety of personnel and preservation of the environment and surrounding wildlife were top priorities in salvage efforts, and the Navy consulted with different local, state and federal entities to ensure salvage efforts were safe for personnel, the environment and the community.

Navy divers recovered the plane by cutting it into sections and preparing each section to be lifted with a sling. A crane lifted each section out of the water, and barges transported the aircraft pieces offsite. MDSU 2 also surveyed the site and surrounding area to identify and recover aircraft debris.

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye was attached to Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 120. The mishap killed Lt. Hyrum Hanlon, who commissioned in the Navy from Arizona State University in May 2017. He reported to VAW-120 in Jan. 2021.

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Lt. Hyrum Hanlon

Two other service members were injured in the crash.

The crash is still under investigation.

“We really appreciate the support from MDSU 2 and from the numerous local and state officials who assisted with recovery operations,” said Cmdr. Martin Fentress Jr., commanding officer of VAW-120.