This is the second accident involving US military aircraft this week, the other resulting in the death of a pilot and the hospitalization of another.
According to Fox News, today a C-2 cargo plane was on its way to resupply a US Navy aircraft carrier when it encountered engine failure. The cargo plane crashed into the Philippine Sea, so far only eight of the eleven passengers have been recovered alive.
Three US Navy members remain missing while eight of their companions were recovered in “good condition,” according to a statement by the US Navy’s 7th fleet. The crash occurred 575 miles southeast of Okinawa, Japan. It had been gathering supplies needed for the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier operating in the region.
The eight sailors recovered from the crash were found less than an hour after the accident. The Japanese military is said to be assisting in the effort to find the other three sailors.
President Trump also released news of the search effort on Twitter saying, “The @USNavy is conducting search and rescue following aircraft crash. We are monitoring the situation. Prayers for all involved.”
The US military is currently investigating what caused the incident. The Pentagon released a statement today saying, “We are aware of the incident and it is currently under investigation.”
The aircraft was the Navy’s C-2 Greyhound, a large cargo plane designed to transport passengers and supplies to aircraft carriers out at sea. The aircraft was first utilized by the military in the 1960s, making it more than 50 years old and in need of replacement. The military plans to replace the C-2 Greyhounds with V-22 Ospreys within a few years.
It’s unclear if the engine failures were the result of the aircraft’s old machinery, or if something else occurred, though initial signs point to mechanical failings rather than pilot error.
The ship it was delivering to, the USS Ronald Reagan, is coordinating with two other aircraft carriers in the area as a show of force in response to North Korea’s hostility. It is the first time since the late 1960s that the USS Ronald Reagan has been near the Korean Peninsula. The aircraft carrier is currently participating in training with the Japanese military.
The last incident with military aircraft was on Monday when a T-38 Talon fighter jet crashed during training, according to USA Today. The crash resulted in the death of one pilot and the hospitalization of the other.
The crash occurred outside the Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas. The particular model of aircraft is used to train pilots for “front-line fighter and bomber aircraft,” according to the Air Force’s website. It was also noted that the T-38 Talons were known for their “ease of maintenance, high performance, and exceptional safety record”.
The US military has had two critical failures with their aircraft in recent days. Are you concerned about the uptick in aviation disasters?
It is unclear at this time what the cause of that crash was.
Hopefully, the three missing Navy personnel will be found soon, and in “good condition” like their fellow servicemembers. Perhaps the military will also determine the cause of both crashes and be able to take the necessary precautions to avoid similar incidents from happening again in the future.