Sgt. Raquel Barraza/DVIDS
On Tuesday, an F-35B reportedly collided with a Marine Corps KC-130 aerial refueling tanker over Southern California.
All crew members from the tanker and fighter jet are in good condition and accounted for. The location of the F-35B, however, is unknown at this time.
A practice midair refueling exercise on Tuesday ended with a Marine Corps KC-130 aerial refueling tanker sitting in a plowed field … and a $120 million F-35B Joint Strike Fighter unaccounted for.
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The two planes reportedly collided in the skies over Southern California, with the tanker crew making an emergency landing in an agricultural area. The fate and location of the F-35B is unknown at this time, but a video posted on social media purports to show the moment it crashed.
The incident took place at approximately 4 p.m. local time. In a statement released on its website, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma reported that the planes “made contact.”
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MCAS Yuma said the KC-130 was on the ground near the airport at Thermal, California, and all crew members were safe. A KC-130J configured for aerial refueling operations typically carries a crew of four, according to Lockheed Martin, the plane’s manufacturer.
Here’s a video that shows just how close the two planes can get during aerial refueling:
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