U.S. F-35 Fighter Jet
Fragments of U.S. F-35 Fighter Jet Discovered One Day After Pilot’s Ejection from Aircraft
The U.S. military has announced the discovery of debris from a missing F-35 fighter jet, a day after reaching out to the public for assistance in locating the elusive warplane. The search began when a pilot ejected from the aircraft under unknown circumstances.
The wreckage of the F-35B Lightning II jet, which had gone missing on Sunday afternoon, was located on Monday in the rural Williamsburg County of South Carolina, near Joint Base Charleston, according to the Marine Corps.
The US military is searching for a missing F-35B in South Carolina after the pilot ejected yesterday and the jet kept flying. If you have seen an F-35 in the woods, please contact the US Marines. pic.twitter.com/rpueqxuP0J— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) September 18, 2023
The discovery came after a joint effort involving personnel from Joint Base Charleston and @MCASBeaufortSC, in collaboration with local authorities. The base expressed gratitude to local, county, and state officials for their support during the search for the missing stealth fighter plane.
The debris site was situated approximately two hours northeast of the Marine base, and local residents were advised to steer clear of the area as a recovery team secured the site. Joint Base Charleston handed over incident command to the US Marine Corps as they initiated the recovery process.
Following the pilot’s safe ejection into a North Charleston neighborhood on Sunday afternoon, where he was subsequently taken to a hospital and reported to be in stable condition, military officials took to social media to seek assistance in locating the missing $80 million aircraft.
This plea for help generated a wave of humor and memes on social media, with many expressing astonishment at the loss of such an advanced warplane by the U.S. military.
As a result of this incident and two others classified as “Class-A mishaps” in the past six weeks, all Marine Corps aviation units were directed to pause operations for two days.
During this stand-down, commanders will reinforce safe flying policies, practices, and procedures with their Marines.
The specific details of the two prior incidents were not disclosed, but it’s worth noting that a tragic accident in August claimed the lives of three U.S.
Marines during a V-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft crash in Australia, and another Marine Corps pilot lost his life when his combat jet crashed near a San Diego base during a training flight.
An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the F-35’s loss. Fortunately, a pilot in a second F-35 returned safely to Joint Base Charleston.
These planes and pilots were affiliated with the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, part of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing based in Beaufort, near the South Carolina coast.
Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35, touts its advanced technology, which includes radar-eluding capabilities, advanced sensors, and other equipment that make it exceptionally difficult to track.