U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Jet Crashes After Mid-Air Collision with KC-130J Tanker

A U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter jet crashed after mid-air collision with a KC-130J Super Hercules tanker aircraft in Southern California.

The two aircraft made contact at approximately 1600 hours during an air-to-air refueling evolution reportedly leading to the clipping of F-35B’s wings resulting in the crash of the F-35B. The crash site of the F-35B is reportedly near the Salton Sea, northeast of San Diego.

The pilot of the F-35B was able to eject successfully and is currently being treated. The KC-130J made an emergency landing at a farm field in the vicinity of Thermal Airport. All crew members of the KC-130J have been reported safe.

Photos from the landing scene showed the plane on its belly in a the farm field.

According to reports, the KC-130J was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar in San Diego, California, and the F-35B was based at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan.

A statement from the Marine Corps said that the cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

Official statement from the  U.S. Marine Corps:

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. (Sep. 29, 2020) — At approximately 1600 it was reported that an F-35B made contact with a KC-130J during an air-to-air refueling evolution, resulting in the crash of the F-35B. The pilot of the F-35B ejected successfully and is currently being treated.

The KC-130J is on deck in the vicinity of Thermal Airport. All crew members of the KC-130J have been reported safe.

The official cause of the crash is currently under investigation. Updates will be provided as information becomes available.



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