The US Navy Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye surveillance aircraft crashed during a training flight. The four crew bailed out safely. The aircraft crashed on land.
The Hawkeye was conducting a training flight at 4:05 p.m. when it crashed near Wallops Island, northeast of Norfolk, said Naval Air Force Atlantic spokeswoman Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg in a statement.
Both pilots and two crewmembers bailed out of the aircraft safely and sustained “no major injuries,” Cragg said.
They bailed out via the main cabin door and were already wearing parachutes, which is required when they board the aircraft, she said.
Initial reports also did not indicate that any personnel on the ground were injured, nor were any structures damaged in the crash, she said.
Assigned to Airborne Command and Control Squadron 120 out of Naval Station Norfolk, the aircraft was conducting a training flight at the time of the crash, Cragg said.
VAW 120 is a fleet replacement squadron that trains pilots, naval flight officers, and naval aircrewmen.
The E-2C Hawkeye is an all-weather, twin-turboprop aircraft and an important part of the carrier air wing. Flying at high altitudes, these aircraft provide not only airborne early warning capabilities, but also command and control functions.
Equipped with high-end sensors, these aircraft can carry out surveillance missions, coordinate strikes and intercepts, facilitate communications, and support search and rescue operations as needed.
The E-2C, which is being replaced by the newer E-2D, has been operational since the early 1970s.