US Concludes Salvage Operation Related to Dec. 6 Aircraft Mishap Involving Marine Corps F/A-18 and KC-130J Aircraft

The salvage operation related to the Dec. 6, 2018 aircraft mishap involving a U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft and a KC-130J Super Hercules tanker aircraft has concluded.

The two aircraft crashed during a midair refueling about 200 miles off the coast of Kochi, Japan killing six Marines. Both aircraft were launched out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training.

The salvage operation occurred from May 27 to June 7, 2019. The effort accomplished the task of recovering the KC-130J’s cockpit voice recorder and digital flight recorder. These devices are being delivered to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) locate in Patuxent River, Maryland, for analysis to assist in the on-going investigation.

Additionally, human remains were recovered during the salvage operation. At this time, the number and identity of those recovered is not known. The remains will be transferred to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, where formal identification will be made by competent medical authorities.

The cause of the December 2018 aircraft mishap remains under investigation.

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