Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment)/ Navy Recovers C-2A from Fatal 2017 Crash from 3 Miles Underwater
Navy Recovers C-2A from Fatal 2017 Crash from 3 Miles UnderwaterBy: Sam LaGrone
June 5, 2019 10:20 PM
A year and a half after a fatal crash in the Philippine Sea, the Navy has recovered the wreckage of the missing C-2A Greyhound from more than three miles below the surface, USNI News has learned. The aircraft was recovered from near its Nov. 22crash site about 500 miles from Okinawa in late May, a U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman confirmed to USNI News on Wednesday.
“A Navy salvage team embarked on a contracted vessel and completed the recovery of the C-2A aircraft on May 21,” Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Navy spokesman, told USNI News.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families, friends, and shipmates of our three fallen sailors.”
The Greyhound’s pilot Lt. Steven Combs, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Matthew Chialastri and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso are presumed to have died following the crash.
A Navy official told USNI News that the families of the sailors have been notified of the recovery. The service is not discussing yet if remains were found aboard the aircraft.
The C-2A, assigned to the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, was headed to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) with four aircrew and seven passengers aboard the aircraft when the crash occurred just miles from the carrier.
While the investigation into the incident has yet to be officially closed, accounts from survivors point to Combs performance as the reason eight sailors survived the crash. He had to ditch the aircraft following a mechanical failure in 10-foot to 12-foot seas, according to an account in Military.com.
Combs “flew the hell out of that airplane,” his copilot told service officials after the rescue.