The E-2D Hawkeye was conducting routine flight operations in the vicinity of Wallops Island, Virginia, when it went down around 7:30 p.m. on March 30, a Navy spokesperson said. One of the three sailors on the plane died in the crash, while the other two were rescued by Maryland State Police, who found them injured and on top of the partly submerged wreck.
The plane, an advanced tactical airborne early warning aircraft, is based out of Naval Station Norfolk and assigned to an East Coast Airborne Command and Control Squadron.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that to recover the plane on Tuesday, the Navy called on divers from Little Creek’s Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, which specializes in salvage and recovery of underwater objects. Divers cut the aircraft into sections, put them each into a sling which was lifted by a crane onto barges which carried those sections out of the area.
The crash remains under investigation.