BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Navy cleanup effort at the site of the training plane crash in the heavily wooded area in the Gateswood community roughly a week ago “nears completion” according to a release from the Naval Air Station Whiting Field Public Affairs Office.
Two pilots had to eject from the plane and landed away from the crash site. They were rescued and take to a local hospital for treatment. Both pilots are okay.
On Jan. 18, members of the Navy arrived in Alabama to “assist investigation teams and to evaluate the site for environmental impacts.”
WKRG’s Sky 5 Drone was able to capture a first look at the site where the plane went down. It’s more than a mile down a one lane, dirt road off County Road 87, and then a hike across the Styx River.
On Jan. 20, the aircraft wreckage was returned to NAS Whiting Field, “where the aircraft investigation board will continue its review,” according to the release.
After debris were cleared, soil samples were taken and lab tests were conducted to “verify that clean up efforts were successful.”
“Initial test results show that we have cleaned up the site to Federal and State standards,
and clean backfill (soil) is being brought in to replace the contaminated soil that was removed,”
said Sarah Murtagh, Navy OSC with NRSE.
“Our team has been working closely with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, as well as
the land owner, whose support has contributed to the efficiency of the aircraft recovery and
environmental restoration efforts,” said Murtaugh.