On Sunday, a Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II jet suffered a “mishap” during a flight causing the pilot to eject himself to safety somewhere near the Air Force base, Joint Base Charleston – approximately five miles outside of Charleston.
Though the pilot was located and safe, somehow, the jet went missing.
It is unclear what happened during the flight that caused the pilot to eject. The Joint Base Charleston only referred to it as a “mishap”.
Now, the Marine Corps, Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have launched a cooperative search effort.
On X, formerly known as Twitter, Joint Base Charleston sought information from the public.
“If you have any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35, please call the Base Defense Operations Center at 843-963-3600.
We’re working with @MCASBeaufortSC to locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap this afternoon. The pilot ejected safely. If you have any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35, please call the Base Defense Operations Center at 843-963-3600.
— Joint Base Charleston (@TeamCharleston) September 17, 2023
“Based on the jet’s last-known position and in coordination with the FAA, we are focusing our attention north of JB Charleston, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion,” Joint Base Charleston said.
A spokesman at Joint Base Charleston told The Washington Post that the jet’s transponder, which would typically help locate the aircraft, was not working. They have yet to identify the cause of the malfunction.
Lockheed Martin, the company that manufactures the F-35, describes the fighter jet as “The most lethal, survivable and connected fighter jet in the world.”
It is often described as one of the most stealth jets due to its design and power which make it more difficult for a normal aircraft to detect.
The Independent has reached out to Joint Base Charleston and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort for comment.