U.S. Marines Read Books in Flights: Report on Deadly Crash

Society Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 5 (Jiji Press)--Members of a U.S. Marine Corps unit involved in a deadly aerial accident off the western coast of Japan last December frequently engaged in inappropriate activities during flights such as reading books and taking selfies, a U.S. military report revealed Tuesday.

The report followed the midair collision of a Marine Corps F/A-18 fighter jet and a KC-130 aerial tanker off the coast of Kochi Prefecture on Dec. 6, 2018. The aircraft, which were conducting a nighttime aerial refueling mission, crashed into the Pacific Ocean, killing six onboard.

According to the report, several members of the unit removed their oxygen masks and took both hands off the aircraft controls to read books or to groom their beards during flights. In one instance, a unit member was found to have shared a selfie taken during a flight on social media.

In addition, urine samples from members, including a pilot of the aircraft involved in the 2018 accident, tested positive for traces of a hypnotic sedative, making them unfit for a flight mission.

The same unit had also caused a midair accident off Kaneda Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, on April 28, 2016, in which an F/A-18 fighter jet hit an air tanker and made contact with the fueling hose.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press