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US military air tanker lands on its belly after colliding with F-35B jet during mid-air refueling in California (PHOTOS)

US military air tanker lands on its belly after colliding with F-35B jet during mid-air refueling in California (PHOTOS)
A US Marine Corps F-35B fighter plane has collided with a KC-130J refueling aircraft. The jet crashed as the tanker was forced to make an emergency landing in the middle of a field.

The two planes collided in mid-air during a refueling operation at around 4pm local time on Tuesday, the Naval Air Facility El Centro reported.

The F-35B pilot ejected to safety as the jet crashed in the desert near Salton City.

The tanker, meanwhile, was forced to make an emergency landing in the middle of a field near the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in the town of Thermal. All eight crew members were unharmed.

Photos from the scene published by local media show the KC-130J lying on its belly with two of its four propellers missing.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the crash.

Another US Marine Corps F-35B crashed in South Carolina in 2018. Its pilot also safely ejected, and there were no casualties on the ground.

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