The U.S. Marine Corps is on a mission to find a stealth fighter jet after its pilot safely ejected due to an unspecified incident.
The public has been called upon to assist in tracking down the F-35B Lightning II aircraft that went missing near Joint Base Charleston on a recent Sunday afternoon.
Joint Base Charleston, located in North Charleston, South Carolina, is collaborating with Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort to pinpoint the jet’s location, a model produced by Lockheed Martin.
On a certain date, through a social media message, Joint Base Charleston urged those with any leads on the aircraft’s whereabouts to get in touch with the base.
Emergency teams are actively searching for the F-35, valued at over $80 million, as stated by Axios.
According to reports by Axios, based on the last known location of the jet and in collaboration with the FAA, search efforts are primarily directed north of JB Charleston, particularly around the regions of Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion.
An update from Joint Base Charleston on Facebook mentioned, “The pilot is in stable condition after a safe ejection and is now receiving care at a nearby hospital.”
As per The Washington Post, the exact cause of the incident remains undetermined. Jeremy Huggins, a representative from Joint Base Charleston, was quoted by the Post stating that the jet’s locator system wasn’t functional for undetermined reasons, prompting the call to the public for assistance. The search is heavily focused around Lake Moultrie, which spans 14 miles at its broadest and goes as deep as 75 feet.
The term “mishap” in the Air Force context refers to any event causing harm to individuals or property, triggering a mandatory investigation.
The precise state of damage to the jet from the recent event is still uncertain.
It was noted by The Post that a similar F-35 crash in 2018 was initially categorized as a major accident, signifying substantial damage or severe harm to the crew.