US warplanes crash off Japan; 1 rescued, 6 missing

06 December, 2018, 05:39 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • An F  A-18D Hornet with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 and a KC-130J Hercules with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 conduct simulated aerial refueling during the 41st Japan Maritime Self Defense Force – Marine

The aircrafts had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, a U.S. station in Japan.

U.S. Marines and Japanese authorities were searching early Thursday off the coast of Japan for missing Marines after a mishap between a fighter jet and plane used both for transporting troops and refueling, Marine officials said. "Japanese search and rescue aircraft immediately responded to aid in recovery".

The primary mission of a KC-130 is airborne refueling.

The C-130 was thought to be carrying 5 servicemen and the F-18 two, said the Japanese official, who added that Japan had scrambled 4 aircraft and 3 ships in the search.

The aircraft - a KC-130 and an F/A-18 Hornet - had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan. The pilot successfully ejected and was safely recovered by an Air Self-Defense Force search and rescue team.

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Further details about the incident were not immediately released.

An anonymous USA official said that one of the aircrafts was an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet.

They also said they were unsure how the mishap may have occurred but none suspected foul play.

The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo says that air-to-air refuelling is a hard and potentially risky flight operation, especially when done at night.

"The circumstances of the mishap are now under investigation". A series of emergency landings and parts falling from US military aircraft have highlighted safety concerns.

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