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Navy crew jumped from surveillance plane before it crashed

ABC News logo ABC News 9/1/2020
a large fire in a field: An E-2C Hawkeye aircraft crashed in Accomack County, Va., Aug. 31, 2020. © Stephen Gardner An E-2C Hawkeye aircraft crashed in Accomack County, Va., Aug. 31, 2020.

Four sailors jumped from their twin-propeller E-2C Hawkeye aircraft before it crashed in Accomack County, Virginia, Monday afternoon, according to a Navy official.

"The two pilots and two crewmembers bailed out of the aircraft safely," a statement from Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg of Naval Air Force Atlantic said.

MORE: Former Navy cargo ship is sunk as part of scaled-back Naval exercise a lot of smoke around it: An E-2C Hawkeye aircraft crashed in Accomack County, Va., Aug. 31, 2020. © Stephen Gardner An E-2C Hawkeye aircraft crashed in Accomack County, Va., Aug. 31, 2020.

The crew strapped on parachutes when they boarded the plane, as is required, before flying out of Naval Station Norfolk for a training mission Monday, Cragg told ABC News. When they ran into trouble, they bailed out of the main cabin door and were recovered safe on the ground.

a large fire in a field: An E-2C Hawkeye aircraft crashed in Accomack County, Va., Aug. 31, 2020. © Stephen Gardner An E-2C Hawkeye aircraft crashed in Accomack County, Va., Aug. 31, 2020.

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The E-2C, a command-and-control type aircraft with a large, distinctive radar dish atop its fuselage, crashed in the vicinity of Wallops Island at about 3:50 p.m., Cragg said. The plane is capable of carrying out surveillance missions and can be launched from aircraft carriers.

MORE: Sailor investigated for possibly starting fire on Navy ship USS Bonhomme Richard

The E-2C that crashed Monday was assigned to Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 120 Fleet Replacement Squadron, based in Norfolk.

a fighter jet sitting on top of a runway: Aviation Electricians Mate 3rd Class Dennies Damaso, directs an E-2C Hawkeye as it returns to Norfolk following a seven-month deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, Dec. 7, 2011, in Norfolk, Va. © U.S. Navy Aviation Electricians Mate 3rd Class Dennies Damaso, directs an E-2C Hawkeye as it returns to Norfolk following a seven-month deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, Dec. 7, 2011, in Norfolk, Va.

There was no immediate indication of harm to people or structures on the ground, the Navy statement said. The cause of the mishap is under investigation.

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