Efforts underway to salvage Harrier after crash

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) – The U.S. Navy’s Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 have taken the lead for recovery operations of the Harrier jet that crashed off the coast of Wilmington on May 6th.

At this point, divers have not found any fuel or fluid leakage.

According to a press release, the Harrier was not carrying any weapons at the time of the crash.

Marine Aircraft Group 14 requested that the entire jet is recovered. Right now, it’s unclear how long recovery efforts will take.

The Harrier was the first VSTOL-capable (vertical/short takeoff and landing) jet in the Marine inventory, it has the ability to hover like a helicopter, and then quickly accelerate forward to near supersonic speeds — giving MAGTF commanders flexibility on the battlefield.

The F-35B will be replacing the AV-8B Harrier, F/A-18 Hornet, and EA-6B Prowler.

The crash is still under investigation.

Previous Story 5/7/16:

The Cherry Point pilot involved in a Harrier jet crash Friday is safely recovering at home.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a military Harrier crashed off the Wrightsville Beach coast at 5:05 p.m. Friday.

Marine officials said the pilot ejected from the aircraft before it crashed. He inflated a personal flotation device and boarded onto a life raft before being rescued by an H-60 Seahawk at approximately 5:28 p.m.

The pilot was transported to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, N.C. and has been released.

MCAS Cherry Point confirmed it was an AV-B8 Harrier, and the pilot was with the Marine Attack Squadron 542, Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft.

The pilot departed Wilmington International Airport and was conducting flight training with the intention of returning to ILM.

A Wrightsville Coast Guard team belonging to Station Wrightsville Beach picked up the pilot.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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