ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – A rescue operation is underway on the East Coast after a Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye crashed last week near Wallops Island and Chincoteague.
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Lt Cmdr. Naval Air Force Atlantic public affairs officer Rob Myers said the the plane was doing a routine exercise when it collapsed around 7:30 p.m. last Wednesday with three people on board.
Two crew members were rescued by Maryland State Police and transported to Wallops Island for treatment. The third person, Lt. Hyrum Hanlon was killed in the crash.
Since the crash, officials have worked to drain fuel from the plane using environmental safeguards. All fuel was successfully removed from the Hawkeye on Saturday.
“The combined expertise spanning numerous federal, state and local entities enabled us to achieve this important milestone as planned while ensuring we had the environmental safeguards in place to protect the local ecosystem throughout the draining process. “said Mr. Alan Kersnick, the Navy’s on-site coordinator. “We greatly appreciate the continued support of our interagency partners, and especially the local community, as we recover our aircraft following this tragic event.”
The next step in the process is to use flyover planes to ensure there is no pollution or fuel spillage in the area.
“NASA Wallops and Chincoteague are key locations critical to successful Hawkeye pilot training. Our partnership with the community enables the required training that enables our pilots and aircrew to be deployable around the world in support of our collective defense,” said Cmdr. Martin Fentress Jr., commander of VAW-120. “As a native of Norfolk and someone who has had a strong connection to the East Coast since childhood, I am forever grateful for the outpouring of love from Chincoteague and the quick response from many agencies who have helped our pilots when it was most needed.”
The U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Chincoteague Emergency Management Services are all involved in the effort.