The U.S. Navy said it has contracted a research vessel owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen to survey the location of a downed C-2A Greyhound plane before attempts are made to recover the aircraft from 18,500 feet below the surface in the Philippine Sea.
The C-2A Greyhound was transporting 11 crew and passengers when it crashed into the ocean on November 22, 2017, killing three.
On December 29, A Navy team using a towed pinger locator (TPL-25) system discovered the aircraft
resting on the seafloor at a depth of 18,500 feet, an unprecedented depth for the salvage of an aircraft. The extreme depth, combined with the unknown condition of the C-2A, will make recovery extremely difficult, the Navy said.
Before the Navy’s salvage team can work to recover the aircraft, Navy Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) personnel aboard the 250-foot RV Petrel
will depart from the Philippines to survey and map the ocean floor of the wreck site using a side-scan-sonar and remote operated vehicle (ROV). The Allen-owned research and exploration vessel is equipped with some of the world’s most advanced underwater equipment and technology, making it capable of exploring depths to 6,000 meters.
After the survey, SUPSALV will analyze the data and assign a vessel, equipment and personnel as the Navy makes every effort to recover the aircraft and fallen sailors for recovery efforts.