F-35B crashes after mid-air collision with KC-130 while refueling

U.S. Marine Corps photo

A United States Marine Corps F-35B fighter jet crashed after colliding with a KC-130J tanker during an air-to-air refueling operation. The pilot ejected successfully.

The two aircraft were undergoing Weapons and Tactics Instructor training, according to a Marine Corps spokesperson. “At approximately 1600 it was reported that an F-35B made contact with a KC-130J during an air-to-air refueling evolution,” announced Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in a press release. Consequently, the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II crashed near Salton City, in California. The pilot managed to successfully eject. No ground injuries were reported.

As for the Lockheed KC-130J Hercules, registration number 166765, it made a gear-up emergency landing in a field of Riverside County, also in California. The tanker, based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, had eight people on board. They were all able to deplane safely. “The official cause of the crash is currently under investigation,” concluded Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.

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