Pilot of $100m F-35 stealth fighter jet parachutes to safety after colliding with a Hercules during mid-air refueling: Tanker makes emergency landing in a field in remote area of California

 The pilot of a military stealth fighter jet has parachuted to safety after colliding with an air tanker during a mid-air refueling operation near Imperial County, southern California.

An F-35B combat jet crashed near the Salton Sea on Tuesday afternoon after hitting a KC-130J tanker, forcing the aircraft to make an emergency landing.    

All eight crew members onboard the tanker survived and are safe, while the pilot of the F-35 managed to eject successfully and is now being treated for his injuries. 

The US Marine Corps confirmed the collision occurred during a refueling operation, during which a tanker transfers fuel to a receiver mid air, allowing it to remain airborne for a longer period of time. 

A F-35B fighter jet (circled in stock image) crashed near the Salton Sea in southern California on Tuesday afternoon after colliding with a KC-130J tanker during a refueling (pictured) operation

A F-35B fighter jet (circled in stock image) crashed near the Salton Sea in southern California on Tuesday afternoon after colliding with a KC-130J tanker during a refueling (pictured) operation

The tanker (pictured on Tuesday) was forced to make an emergency landing in a field near Thermal, California, just east of the airport. All eight crew members on board were unharmed

The tanker (pictured on Tuesday) was forced to make an emergency landing in a field near Thermal, California, just east of the airport. All eight crew members on board were unharmed 

The F-35B combat jet (stock image) was reported to have 'disintegrated' after crashing into the ground

The F-35B combat jet (stock image) was reported to have 'disintegrated' after crashing into the ground 

At around 4pm local time, '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 USMC said in a statement. 

'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.'

Details on the pilot's condition and the extent of his injuries were not immediately released.  


Eye witnesses took to Twitter to report seeing the pilot parachuting out of the fighter jet before hitting the ground.

Footage shared on social media showed the jet bursting into flames upon impact

Footage shared on social media showed the jet bursting into flames upon impact

The KC-130J was able to make an emergency landing in a field near the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, California

The KC-130J was able to make an emergency landing in a field near the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, California

One user described the F-35 fighter aircraft as being 'fully engulfed' in flames by the time it impacted the ground. 

First responders on the ground also reported that the jet 'disintegrated' after bursting into flames. 

A Blackhawk helicopter was deployed to the scene in search of survivors, according to reports.   


Meanwhile, the KC-130, used to transport military equipment including helicopters, landed safely in a field near the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, California. 

Both aircraft were stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, an official said. 

Imperial County is located about two hours drive east of San Diego. 

The family of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth multirole combat jets, one oft the most expensive in the world, have been plagued with issues and have suffered multiple crashes over the years. 

Most recently in May, an Air Force F-35A belonging to the 58th Fighter Squadron crashed while landing at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The pilot survived after ejecting safely. 

Almost exactly two years ago on September 28, 2018, an F-35B crashed outside the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina. The pilot, again, managed to eject safely.

The cause of the accident was determined to be from a faulty fuel tube, prompting officials to ground all F-35s to inspect the fleet on October 11.  They were returned to flight status the following day. 

In April 2019, a Japanese F-35A from the Misawa air base crashed off the coast of Japan during a training operation. 

The pilot, Major Akinori Hosomi, had disappeared during the mission and was later found to had crashed in the Pacific Ocean. 

The F-35s were first introduced to the US Military in 2015, with the first F-35B entering the US Marine Corp in July that year.

The aircraft has three different variants, including the F-35A, used by the US Air Force, that uses conventional takeoff and landing, the F-35B, which has a short take-off and vertical landing, and the F-35C, used by the US Navy, that is designed for catalpult-assisted takeoff.

Pilot of $100m F-35 stealth fighter jet parachutes to safety after colliding with a Hercules during mid-air refueling: Tanker makes emergency landing in a field in remote area of California Pilot of $100m F-35 stealth fighter jet parachutes to safety after colliding with a Hercules during mid-air refueling: Tanker makes emergency landing in a field in remote area of California Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:45 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.