Two US warplanes crash off Japan – how did it happen?

Warplanes belonging to US Marine Corps Aviation have crashed off the coast of Japan sometime in the last day. Following an official statement by the US military, more details are now coming out.

The latest reports confirm the two aircraft to be an F/A-18 (exact variant unknown) and a KC-130 aerial refueling aircraft. At least 7 servicemen are officially missing amid an ongoing rescue operation.

Reports state that the crashes are a result of an otherwise normal air-to-air refueling mission that took a disastrous turn.

What exactly went wrong and if any one of the two warplanes were specifically responsible for the incident remains unclear.

Despite improved technology and decades of operational refinement, air-to-air refueling remains a very dangerous undertaking; the potential for pilot error aside weather and environmental factors can also lead to disasters such as the one that has just occurred off of Japan.

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