ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — A salvage operation is underway on the Eastern Shore after a Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye crashed last week near Wallops Island and Chincoteague.
Two crew members were rescued by Maryland State Police and transported to Wallops Island for treatment. The third person, Lieutenant Hyrum Hanlon was killed in the crash.
Since the crash, officials have worked to de-fuel the aircraft using environmental protection measures. All fuel was successfully removed from the Hawkeye on Saturday.
“The combined expertise spanning numerous federal, state, and local entities allowed us to complete this significant milestone as planned while ensuring we had the environmental safeguards in place to protect the local ecosystem throughout the entirety of the de-fueling process,” said Mr. Alan Kersnick, the Navy on-scene 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 using overflight aircraft to ensure there is no pollution or fuel discharge in the area.
“NASA Wallops and Chincoteague serve as a key location vital to successful training of Hawkeye pilots. Our partnership with the community enables the requisite training that allows our pilots and aircrews to be worldwide deployable to support our collective defense,” said Cmdr. Martin Fentress Jr., Commanding Officer of VAW-120. “As a Norfolk native and someone who has a close connection with the Eastern Shore since childhood, I am eternally grateful for the outpouring of love from Chincoteague and the rapid response from numerous agencies who helped our pilots when it was needed most.”
The U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Chincoteague Emergency Management services are all involved in the efforts.