F-18 jet and tanker crash in mid-air during refuelling near Japan

Japanese search and rescue planes were immediately dispatched

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 05 December 2018 17:56
Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya gives statement following F-18 jet and tanker mid-air crash near Japan

Two US military aircraft have collided off the coast of Japan during refuelling, and search and rescue efforts are underway.

The crash was announced by the United States Marine Corps, and the force said Japanese search and rescue jets responded immediately to the incident.

The crash some 200 miles off the coast involved an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet made by McDonnell Douglas, and a KC-130, a refuelling plane with propellers made by Lockheed Martin.

"Search and rescue operations continue for US Marine aircraft that were involved in a mishap off of the coast of Japan around 2.00 am Dec 6," a Marine Corps news release said.

“The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred," according to the release. "Japanese search and rescue aircraft immediately responded to aid in recovery".

One crew member was recovered and is in stable condition, while the search continues for six more personnel, authorities said.

The crash is the latest in recent series of accidents involving the U.S. military deployed to and near Japan.

Last month, a US 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 US troops are based in Japan under the bilateral security pact.

Additional reporting by agencies

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in