Marine F-35 jet crashes after clipping wings with refueling plane

The pilot is being treated for his injuries.
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Authorities responded to an aircraft emergency involving two planes, a c-130 and an F-35, near the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, Calif., Sept. 29, 2020.

(ABC News) – A Marine Corps F-35 fighter jet crashed in Imperial County, California, after clipping the wing of a Marine KC-130 refueling tanker during a mid-air refueling, according to a Marine Corps statement.

The F-35 pilot was able to eject safely and the KC-130 was able to carry out a safe emergency landing. The pilot is now being treated for his injuries.

“At approximately 1600 (4 p.m. Pacific time) it was reported that an F-35B made contact with a KC-130J during an air-to-air refueling evolution, resulting in the crash of the F-35B,” read a statement from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Yuma, Arizona. “The pilot of the F-35B ejected successfully and is currently being treated.”

“The KC-130J is on deck in the vicinity of Thermal Airport. All crew members of the KC-130J have been reported safe,” read the statement.

The refueling tanker landed near a field, according to images published on social media.

A defense official said the KC-130 was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California, and the F-35 was based in Iwakuni, Japan.

The Marines said the incident is under investigation.

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