Military officials are searching for an F-35 fighter jet in South Carolina after a ‘mishap’ forced the pilot to eject
The military is searching for an F-35 fighter jet near Charleston, South Carolina, after its pilot ejected Sunday afternoon, according to military officials.
The pilot ejected safely after a “mishap” involving the jet and was taken to a local medical facility in stable condition, Joint Base Charleston said in a Facebook post.
Emergency response teams are now working to find the aircraft, an F-35B Lightning II jet.
The aircraft’s last known position was near Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, two large bodies of water northwest of the city of Charleston, according to Joint Base Charleston, which asked for the public’s help finding the aircraft.
“The public is asked to cooperate with military and civilian authorities as the effort continues,” Joint Base Charleston officials said.
The jet belongs to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, a unit focused on training pilots to meet annual training requirements, according to the unit’s website.
The jet’s transponder, which usually helps locate the aircraft, was not working “for some reason that we haven’t yet determined,” said Jeremy Huggins, a spokesman at Joint Base Charleston. “So that’s why we put out the public request for help.”
Although it is a Marine Corps jet, the Air Force is assisting in the response, because the F-35 went down near its base. The Federal Aviation Administration is also involved in the response. Lockheed Martin, which makes the F-35, said in a statement, “We are aware of the mishap involving an F-35B from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and are thankful the pilot ejected safely. We are supporting the government’s investigation.”
F-35s are among the world’s most advanced fighter jets, known for their sharp, aerodynamic body and features that shield them from detection.
Based on the jet’s last known location, Huggins said, the search is being concentrated near Lake Moultrie, a murky body of water that is 75 feet deep at its deepest point and 14 miles across at its widest.
It was hijacked remotely.. but please everyone, go out and get an EV.. NOW
The jet was hacked, it ejected its pilot and is most likely already in a Chinese base in Cuba. pic.twitter.com/U8yDP26b2W
— Shadow of Ezra (@ShadowofEzra) September 18, 2023