The ship was operating in the Philippine Sea on exercises with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force when the crash occurred at 2:45 p.m. Japan time. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear but an engine trouble was supposed. Japan is assisting in the rescue and said eight on board the C-2 “Greyhound” aircraft have been found. It was not immediately clear whether they were alive.
The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier
According to NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, the aircraft was a C-2 propeller cargo plane often used to carry supplies and passengers to and from aircraft carriers. Toshiyuki Ito, a professor of crisis management and international relations at Kanazawa Institute of Technology and a retired vice admiral with the Maritime Self-Defense Force, said he suspected the crew of the aircraft might have been exhausted. This is the latest accident to befall the 7th Fleet, which is based in the Japanese port of Yokosuka, south of Tokyo. It has endured multiple collisions at sea this year, including two involving guided-missile destroyers that left 17 sailors dead. The Seventh Fleet is the Navy’s biggest and busiest overseas fleet, with 20,000 sailors and 50 to 70 vessels.