Thursday, February 14, 2008

Military Plane Goes Down North of Guam

Military plane goes down north of AAFB
by Mindy Aguon, KUAM News
Tuesday, February 12, 2008


A military aircraft went down just 20 miles northeast of Andersen Air Force Base. Federal Aviation Administration air traffic manager Tim Cornelison says a mayday call came in around 4pm this afternoon, notifying officials that the four crewm embers aboard the aircraft were ejecting from the plane.

U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Marcus Hirschberg says a second plane was monitoring the crewmembers who were in the water away from the wreckage.

Three Navy helicopters arrived on the scene within thirty minutes, with two of those picking up the four crewmembers and bringing them to safety at the Naval Hospital in Agana Heights. Their condition is unknown at this hour, but officials confirm all four were located and rescued.

Cornelison says because the crash involves a military aircraft, the FAA is not involved in the investigation, instead only providing support with radio data. Information on why the military plane went down and forcing the crewmembers to eject will be part of an investigation led by the U.S.Navy.

KUAM News has confirmed with the FAA that the military aircraft is a Navy EA-6b Prowler. This type of aircraft is designed for carrier and advance base operations, being a fully integrated electronic warfare system combining long-range, all-weather capabilities with advanced electronic countermeasures. It is typically classified as the U.S. Navy's primary aircraft.

Navy spokesman Lieutenant Donnell Evans confirmed that the plane is attached to the U.S.S. Kittyhawk Strike Group, which is currently conducting training locally. He also noted that none of the injuries sustained by the crew members are life-threatening.

There has been no word at this time about the possible cause(s) of the crash.

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