A video circulating on social media appears to show the fiery crash of a Marine Corps F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in southern California following a mid-air collision with one of the service’s KC-130J Hercules refueling aircraft.
Miraculously, all involved survived the incident.
The video, first reported by our friends at The War Zone, was taken by observers on the ground and shows the aircraft plummeting to the earth followed by a massive fireball:
F-35B Crashing Ground After Mid-Air Collision With KC-130J pic.twitter.com/dPBdVjokJ9
— vlad vlad (@vladwlad777) September 30, 2020
The F-35B pilot was able to eject successfully and is currently undergoing treatment for unspecific injuries, a Marine Corps spokesman told Military.com.
According to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, the KC-130J made an emergency landing close to nearby Thermal Airport, where an unspecified number of crew members are undergoing treatment for “mild injuries.”
pilot of an F-35B has ejected safely after colliding with a KC-130J during a mid-air refuelling operation over southern #California, #KC130 was able to make an emergency landing, all eight crew members survived 👍 l pic.twitter.com/MwYLUgGD4H
— Fighter-pictures (@fighterpics) September 30, 2020
The Class A mishap, the Marine Corps’s third this year, is currently under investigation, Military.com reports.
The Marine Corps’s F-35 variant currently costs just over $100 million per aircraft.