Marine Corps Finds 2018 Crash Investigation Had Flaws, Proposes New Safety Measures

A review of two previous Marine Corps aviation mishaps and their subsequent command investigations concludes that “organizational culture and command climate” contributed to both a 2016 and 2018 mishap within 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Japan – and it adds that some conclusions made by the chain of command regarding the fatal 2018 crash were inaccurate or misleading.

In 2018, an F/A-18D Hornet aircraft from Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 and a KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 collided off the coast of Japan during a nighttime refueling, killing all five Marines on the KC-130J and the pilot of the Hornet. The weapons system officer on the jet survived. In 2016, aircraft from these same two units were involved in another refueling mishap, though no one was injured.