E-2C Crash Only 3rd Loss of Type in Two Decades

Sailors assigned to the Crash and Salvage Division aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower watch as an E-2C+ Hawkeye prepares to land in this Navy file photo. Photo: U.S. Navy / Photographer’s Mate Airman Christopher Molinari.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The crash of a U.S. Navy E-2C Hawkeye battle management aircraft on Aug. 31 was only the third lost in a crash since 2001, according to unofficial records, demonstrating the aircraft’s excellent safety record. 

The E-2C, assigned to  Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 120, a Fleet Replacement Squadron based at Naval Station Norfolk, crashed in the vicinity of Wallops Island, according to a Navy release. 

“The E-2 crashed at approximately 4:05 p.m.,” the release said. “The two pilots and two crew members bailed out of the aircraft safely. At the time of the crash, the E-2 was conducting a training flight. Initial reports indicate no structures or personnel on the ground were damaged or injured in the mishap. The cause of the mishap is under investigation.” 

In August 2007, an E-2C assigned to VAW-120 crashed 150 miles southeast of the Virginia Capes after launch from the USS Harry S. Truman. All three crew members were killed. 

In March 2010, an E-2C assigned to VAW-121 crashed in North Arabian Sea while returning to USS Dwight E. Eisenhower after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom over Afghanistan. The crew bailed out, with three of the four crew members being rescued. 

During the two decades, three E-2Cs were extensively damaged in landing mishaps, with no injuries.