F-35 Fighter and Military Air Tanker Collide over Thermal in Riverside County (excerpt)
(Source: Orange County Register; published Sept. 29, 2020)
By Eric Licas
A U.S. Marine Corps jet crashed and an air tanker made an emergency landing; and crew members sustained mild injuries Tuesday, Sept. 29; after the aircraft collided over Thermal during a refueling exercise, officials said.

The incident took place near 59th Avenue and Polk Street, just east of Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport, at about 4 p.m., said Lt. Brett Vannier, a spokesman for the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona. The tanker, a four-engine Lockheed Martin KC-130J, went down “in a field, and on its belly with the landing gear still up.”


Details regarding where the jet crashed were not immediately available. The pilot of the F-35B, a single-seat combat plane, managed to eject from the craft and was being treated for injuries, Vannier said. The crew of the air tanker also reported mild injuries, but were safe Tuesday evening. It was not immediately clear if any people were hospitalized, Vannier said. (end of excerpt)


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