United States warplanes crash off Japan coast, rescue under way

US military planes collide mid-air off Japan coast 1 killed

US military planes collide mid-air off Japan coast 1 killed

The crash comes just a month after a US F/A-18 Hornet from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the sea southwest of Okinawa.

"Search and rescue operations continue for U.S. Marine Corps aircraft that were involved in a mishap approximately 200 miles (320 km) off of the coast of Japan around 2:00 a.m.", the Marine Corps said in a statement.

Japanese search-and-rescue aircraft immediately responded to the emergency, the Marine Corps statement said. Search and rescue efforts were ongoing, US and Japanese officials said.

The incident is under investigation, the Marine Corps said. A Japanese government official said the person, rescued by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, is in a stable condition. Aerial refueling with the KC-130 calls for another aircraft to pull slightly below and behind the tanker plane, with hoses extended from 3,600-gallon stainless steel tanks on the KC-130′s wings to one or two other aircraft simultaneously.

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The planes involved were an F-18 fighter and a C-130 tanker, on official said.

Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity were unsure how the mishap may have occurred but none suspected foul play.

A crash may have occurred mid-air during the refuelling but this is unconfirmed.

However, refueling is a unsafe operation, Baker said. A series of emergency landings and parts falling from US military aircraft have highlighted safety concerns.

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