Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Transport plane that crashed, killing 3 sailors, located on Pacific seabed

/ Source: Associated Press
Image: 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) on Aug. 22, 2017.
A C-2A GreyhoundMass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alex Corona / U.S. Navy via AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

TOKYO — The U.S. Navy has located a transport aircraft deep on the Pacific Ocean floor where it crashed in November, killing three sailors on board.

The C-2A "Greyhound" aircraft, which was traveling to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it crashed the day before Thanksgiving in the Philippine Sea, rests at a depth of about 18,500 feet, the Japan-based 7th Fleet said in a statement Saturday.

Salvaging it will be the deepest recovery attempt of an aircraft to date, the Navy said.

Image: 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) on Aug. 22, 2017.
A C-2A GreyhoundMass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alex Corona / U.S. Navy via AP

The plane was located last week by a contracted salvage vessel that deployed a pinger locator that picked up the aircraft's emergency signal. After marking the location, the search team returned to port in Japan.

In the coming weeks, the team will return to the site with a side-scan sonar and remote operated vehicle to map the debris field and attach heavy lines for lifting the aircraft to the surface, the statement said.

"Despite very challenging conditions, every effort will be made to recover the aircraft and our fallen sailors," the Navy said, adding that the mission was initially delayed by the poor weather.

Related: U.S. service member in Afghanistan killed, 4 others wounded in combat

Eight people were rescued and the dead were identified as Lt. Steven Combs Jr. and Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso of Florida and Airman Matthew Chialastri of Louisiana.

Elizabeth Combs has said that her brother was piloting the aircraft and managed to settle it in the sea, allowing for the rescue of the eight people. The Navy called Combs' actions "heroic."

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The 7th Fleet had two fatal naval accidents in Asian waters last year, leaving 17 sailors dead and prompting the removal of eight top Navy officers from their posts, including the fleet commander.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news