Video Emerges Of Marine F-35B Crashing In A Ball Of Fire After Colliding With A KC-130J

Video has emerged on social media showing a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fight crashing into the ground in a ball of flame after colliding with one of the service’s KC-130J Hercules tanker-transports over southern California yesterday, an accident that the War Zone was among the first to report. The F-35B’s pilot was thankfully able to eject safely and the entire crew of the KC-130J also survived after a harrowing emergency landing. You can listen to audio between the Hercules’ pilot and air traffic controllers in The War Zone’s

follow-up piece on this mishap.

The clip, seen below and taken by bystanders on the ground, who were also thankfully not harmed, shows the dramatic impact of the F-35B and the spectacular explosion that follows. A woman can be heard yelling “oh my god, you guys” in the background.

The F-35B, which was using the callsign Volt 93 at the time, smacked into the KC-130J, callsign Raider 50, causing severe damage to both aircraft at approximately 4:00 PM local time. Both planes were assigned to the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona at the time of the accident, according to a subsequent report from The KC-130J was from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VGMR-352), the “Raiders,” while it remains unknown what unit the F-35B belonged to.

The video underscores the fate that would have awaited the F-35B’s pilot if they could not have ejected for some reason. Martin-Baker, the company that builds the US16E ejection seats found in each Joint Strike Fighter, including all F-35A and F-35C variants, was quick to highlight on social media that its products have now saved a total of 7,633 lives over the years.

This accident otherwise remains under investigation and we will update this story with any new information as it becomes available.

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Joseph Trevithick Avatar

Joseph Trevithick

Deputy Editor

Joseph has been a member of The War Zone team since early 2017. Prior to that, he was an Associate Editor at War Is Boring, and his byline has appeared in other publications, including Small Arms Review, Small Arms Defense Journal, Reuters, We Are the Mighty, and Task & Purpose.