According to a Sunday post by Joint Base Charleston, the military has reported a missing Marine F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter near South Carolina.
Two F-35B Lightning II jets were reportedly in the air on Sunday at around 2 p.m.; one of the pilots safely landed, while the other “activated an undefined automatic flight system and ejected above North Charleston,” according to a local report by WLTX.
The post informed that an F-35 had an accident in the afternoon, and they requested help finding it. They said the pilot successfully ejected and that the base asked anyone with information that could lead to the F-35’s recovery to contact the Base Defense Operations Center. They published the phone number — 843-963-3600.
It said that according to the jet’s last-known coordinates, they focused their attention north of JB Charleston, near Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie.
As of Monday morning, there was still no word about the plane’s whereabouts.
The pilot ejected due to a “mishap,” according to a Facebook post from Joint Base Charleston.
The Facebook post claims the pilot has been located, hospitalized, and is doing well. The message added that a team is still looking for the F-35 adding that emergency crews are also searching.
The jet’s transponder, which aids in locating the aircraft, was not functioning “for whatever reason” that has not yet been determined, according to a representative for Joint Base Charleston.
We are still getting more information and reviewing the issue,” a representative for Headquarters Marine Corps told the media.
They said the public is “requested to assist” with military and civilian authorities.
According to Task & Purpose, a recent rash of crashes involving Marine Corps planes has occurred.
The pilot of an F/A-18D jet was killed in a crash near Miramar, California, in August, while three Marines were killed when an MV-22 Osprey they were training with crashed in Australia.
The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program is the most costly in the Department of Defense, with an anticipated cost of approximately $1.7 trillion throughout its lifetime, according to a recent assessment by the Government Accountability Office.