US Air Crew Missing After Mid Air Refuelling Accident Over The Sea Of Japan

Posted on December 6, 2018

US media say the two planes crashed during mid-air refuelling but this has not been officially confirmed.
The Marine Corps tweeted that the incident occurred at about 02:00 on Thursday (17:00 GMT Wednesday). There were five personnel on the C-130 and two on the F-18. A Facebook posting by the III Marine Expeditionary Force said the incident took place 200 miles (320km) off the coast.
The US planes had taken off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and “were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred”.
A Marines statement said: “We are thankful for the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force’s efforts as they immediately responded in the search and rescue operation.” The survivor is being assessed by doctors at MCAS Iwakuni. The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo says that air-to-air refuelling is a difficult and potentially dangerous flight operation, especially when done at night. He says it is not clear what the weather conditions were like but overnight there was widespread cloud and rain across the Japanese archipelago. The KC-130 is an extended-range tanker version of the C-130 and is used for mid-air refuelling. The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a fighter and attack aircraft and can carry a wide range of missiles and bombs.

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