Navy close to completing EA-6B Prowler crash investigation

SPOKANE, Wash. - The US Navy is close to filing its final report on the fatal crash that took the lives of three Whidbey Island-based Naval aviators in the crash of an EA-6B Prowler between Harrington and Odessa in March.

Lt. JG. Valerie Cappelaere Delaney, 26, Lt. JG. William Brown McIlvaine, 24, and Lt. Commander Alan Patterson, 34, were killed when their Prowler crashed during a two-ship training flight around 9 a.m. on March 11.

The air crew involved in the mishap was assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. VAQ-129 is a training squadron that instructs both Navy and Marine Corps aviators in flight operations in both the EA-6B Prowler and the EA-18G Growler.

The public affairs office for Commander, Naval Air Forces, headquartered at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego reports that the report into the investigation of the fatal crash is being endorsed by the chain of command. During this phase of the investigation, commanders are reviewing the crash report.

Once the crash report has been endorsed by the chain of command it will be forwarded to the Judge Advocate General's office, which releases investigation reports. The JAG office will then redact the report, removing information that is either classified or of a medical nature involving the air crew.

After the redaction is completed JAG will release the report .

The PAO estimates the report could be released in about a month, though that will depend on how long it takes for the chain of command to endorse the report and the JAG office prepares the report for public release.