A military KC-130 cargo plane collided with a fighter jet Tuesday afternoon over Imperial County, according to the United States Marine Corps and the California Highway Patrol.
At about 4 p.m., an F-35B jet made contact with the cargo plane during an air-to-air refueling effort, causing the jet to crash, the Marine Corps said in a statement. The jet’s pilot – its sole occupant – ejected from the craft and is being treated for injuries that are not life threatening, 1st Lt. Brett Vannier said.
The cargo plane made an emergency landing in a nearby farm area and is now at an airport in Thermal. All eight crew members of the cargo plane are safe, Vannier said.
Emergency personnel were on the scene. KYMA-TV reported that there were fires around the site of the crash.
|Date:||Tuesday 29 September 2020|
Lockheed KC-130J Hercules
|Operator:||United States Marine Corps|
|C/n / msn:||5565|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0|
|Total:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8|
|Location:||near Salton City, CA ( United States of America)|
|Phase:||En route (ENR)|
A U.S. Marine Corps Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II made contact with a Lockheed KC-130J Hercules (166765) during air-to-air refueling. The F-35B pilot successfully ejected and the aircraft crashed. The KC-130J made a forced gear-up landing in a carrot field near Thermal, California.
The KC-130J was attached to the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352) out of MCAS Miramar, California. Photos of the aircraft show substantial damage to the no. 3 and 4 engines; all propeller blades had separated. The refueling pod mounted between engines no.3 and 4 had separated.