US Marine Corps F-18 and KC-130J Involved in a ‘mishap’ Off the Coast of Japan

OKINAWA, JAPAN 6 DECEMBER 2018 – A USMC F/A-18 fighter aircraft with two crew onboard experienced a midair collision with a USMC KC-130 tanker aircraft with 5 crew onboard during refueling operations over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan.

Search-and-rescue operations are underway for two US Marine Corps aircraft involved in a “mishap” off the coast of Japan, the Marine Corps said Wednesday.

The following is the complete U.S. Marine Corps news release:

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan – Search and rescue operations continue for U.S. Marine Corps aircraft that were involved in a mishap off of the coast of Japan around 2:00 a.m. Dec. 6.

The aircraft involved in the mishap, a KC-130 and an F/A-18, had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred.

Japanese search and rescue aircraft immediately responded to aid in recovery.

The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation. There is no additional information available at this time.

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An F/A-18D Hornet with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 242 and a KC-130J Hercules with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152 conduct simulated aerial refueling during the 41st Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force – Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Friendship Day at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, May 5, 2017. US Marine Corps photo.

“The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred,” the service said in a statement published by USNI News.

The incident happened around 2 a.m. local time on December 6. Japanese search-and-rescue aircraft responded immediately, the Corps said, adding that the circumstances were under investigation.

The C-130 had five crew aboard and the F-18 two, Mary Walsh of CBS News reported.

One of those missing was rescued alive, a spokeswomen for the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing said Wednesday evening. The search is ongoing in an area about 200 miles of the Japanese coast.

Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) is stationed at MCAS Iwakuni and comprises Hornet squadron Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 (VMFA-242) and KC-130J squadron Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152), as well as F-35B Joint Strike Fighter squadron Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121), Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 (MALS-12) and aviation ground support unit Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 (MWSS-171).


Source : Aviation Safety Network

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Jake Smith
Jake Smith
Director of Special Projects - Jake is an experienced aviation journalist and strategic leader, regularly contributing to the commercial aviation section of Travel Radar alongside leading strategy and innovation including livestreaming and our store.


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