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USMC Air Refueling KC-130 and F/A-18 Collide - 6 Dec 18


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Second crew member rescued after US Marine Corps planes collide near Japan, as 5 remain missing - 6 Dec 18

A second crew member has been found in the Pacific Ocean near Japan where two Marine Corps aircraft collided while refueling in mid-air early Thursday during a training exercise, a Marine Corps spokesman confirmed to Fox News, as five others still remain missing. The second person was found about 60 miles south of Muroto Cape on Shikoku Island in southwestern Japan, the Maritime Self-Defense Force said.

One of those rescued is in fair condition, while the other is currently being evaluated at a local hospital, the spokesman said. The Marines said an F/A-18 fighter jet and a KC-130 refueling aircraft collided and crashed during training around 2 a.m. after the planes took off from their base in Iwakuni, near Hiroshima. The crash occurred about 200 miles off the coast. “As to what was taking place when the mishap occurred, that is under investigation,” Maj. Eric Flanagan, the Marines spokesman, told Fox News. The seven crew members involved in the incident included two in the F/A-18 and five in the KC-130, and the Marines are conducting a search operation for those who are still missing.

The crash is the latest in recent series of accidents involving the U.S. military deployed to and near Japan. Last month, a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the sea southwest of Japan's southern island of Okinawa, though its two pilots were rescued safely. In mid-October, a MH-60 Seahawk also belonging to the Ronald Reagan crashed off the Philippine Sea shortly after takeoff, causing non-fatal injuries to a dozen sailors. More than 50,000 U.S. troops are based in Japan under the bilateral security pact.


The United States Marine Corps confirms that two Marines have been found. One is in fair condition and the other is being transported to a local hospital for evaluation. The search and rescue operations continue for the remaining five U.S. Marines who were aboard the KC-130 Hercules and F/A-18 Hornet involved in a mishap about 200 miles off of the coast of Japan around 2:00 a.m. Dec. 6. The aircraft were conducting routine training and aerial refueling was a part of the training; as to what was taking place when the mishap occurred, that is under investigation.

U.S. 7th Fleet is supporting ongoing search and rescue efforts with a Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft flying out of Kadena Air Force Base, along with assistance from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japanese Coast Guard. We are thankful for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's, the Japanese Coast Guard's, and the U.S. 7th Fleet's efforts as they continue to respond to the search and rescue operation. We will provide additional information as it becomes available. Media can contact the III Marine Expeditionary Force media desk at IIIMEFMEDIA@usmc.mil.
Your Duty done Marine. Prayer for the missing.


***UPDATE*** (2300/Dec 6,2018)

The United States Marine Corps confirms that two Marines have been found. One is in fair condition and the other has been declared deceased by competent medical personnel.
One Marine has been confirmed dead,one is in hospital and 5 are missing. The dead Marine has not been confirmed to have been on the Hornet or the KC-130. This will be clarified at some point. I suspect the death toll will rise. Prayers out to their families and friends. I am confused by the account so far released and I have asked DoD to clarify the story. My confusion is that 2 were picked up and then there was a fatality.Did a Marine die in hospital or was the fatality from the other aircraft ?

The loss of life is going up once they find the KC-130J fuselage. This is pretty catastrophic.

Locating the aircraft is a must for recovery of the crew.

On the news the report by the USMC was clarified that the deceased aircrew was in the F18. The KC130J pilots have been reported as being "very experienced" which might point the blame at the drogue operator or the F18 pilot. This happened in darkness so anything I guess could have caused the collision.Either when getting in position to fuel or after tanking was complete.
The confirmed death has been identified as USMC Captain Resilard.

RIP Marine! :salute:

Aviation is a particularly unforgiving business, often taking on a binary live/die nature.  Thoughts and prayers for those lost.


5 remaining Marines from aviation mishap declared dead, search ends - 10 Dec 18
The 5 missing crew of the tanker has been identified.


Searchers may have found one or both aircraft caused due to the detection of pingers. I hope in time the families will get some closure and maybe discovering the cause of the crash.