The public is being asked for help by military officials in retrieving a Marine Corps F-35 fighter jet that has effectively gone missing.
The fighter jet was lost somewhere over South Carolina on Sunday. Because of the “accident”, the jet pilot must have ejected.
A statement was released Monday afternoon in which members of Joint Base Charleston said the debris field was found about two hours northeast of the base. JB Charleston said in a statement that JB Charleston is “transferring command of the incident” to the Marine Corps. Then the recovery process will begin.
The incident is currently under investigation. Officers are therefore unable to offer any further information as the investigation is currently ongoing. However, people in the community have been warned to avoid the area.
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Alarm on Sunday afternoon and other events
A series of bizarre and unusual incidents occurred just north of Charleston, SC on Sunday. A pilot from Naval Fighter Squadron 501 ejected safely from the jet.
In an earlier statement, the Marine Corps did not mention whether the jet’s transponder was on, or whether it had a weapon.
In a message sent around 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Joint Base Charleston said “the pilot ejected safely and was transported to a local medical center in stable condition.”
On Sunday, emergency crews began bringing in the fighter jet. The Navy, Civil Air Patrol and FAA assisted in the effort. Numerous state and local law enforcement agencies also assisted in the search for the missing fighter jet, the base announced Monday.
The combat aircraft belonged to a squadron whose mission is actually to train pilots and support crew on the F-35. It was also part of the demonstration at the air show.
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What events led the pilot to abandon the plane?
For now, the exact reasons why the pilot left the aircraft are not known. Marines and others characterized the accident as an “accident”. This accident, however, is still an event that requires more deciphering.
A similar event in 2018
A similar accident occurred five years ago in 2018 when a Marine Corps F-35B crashed in South Carolina. Ironically, this incident also happened in the month of September. In this incident too, the pilot managed to eject safely.
The reason for the accident in September 2018 was a faulty fuel pipe in the fighter. This led to an order to inspect and check the entire fleet of US-owned F-35 fighter jets.
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