F-35B Fighter Jet Pilot Ejects: Wreckage Found After Mysterious Disappearance

Military authorities have located the wreckage of an F-35B military jet, valued at $100 million, which went missing when the pilot ejected over South Carolina. The incident occurred on a Sunday afternoon, prompting a search operation that spanned rural Williamsburg County.

The pilot safely ejected from the cockpit, deploying a parachute that led them to land in a North Charleston neighborhood. Authorities had enlisted the public’s help in locating the missing jet, which led to the discovery of the wreckage.

In a statement released on Monday, military officials disclosed that the debris was found approximately two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston. Videos from the scene depicted a long, narrow gash in a wooded area where the jet had crashed, causing trees to topple as parts of the aircraft broke off.

The Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office redirected traffic on nearby rural roads due to the extensive debris field, emphasizing that no injuries had been reported, and no calls regarding a possible crash or loud noise had been received in recent days.

Initial search efforts had concentrated around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, north of Charleston, where the jet was last located. Subsequently, military authorities confirmed that the discovered debris indeed belonged to the missing plane.

“The mishap is currently under investigation, and we are unable to provide additional details to preserve the integrity of the investigative process,” stated the Marine Corps as the search concluded, urging the public to refrain from entering the area to allow investigators to conduct their work.

Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35B, is cooperating with the government’s investigation, according to a company spokesperson.

Notably, the fighter jet had been left in autopilot mode when the pilot ejected, adding complexity to its discovery. This was attributed to factors such as the damage the aircraft would have incurred from the ejection seat and the shift in aerodynamics once the canopy was lost.

The F-35B Lightning II was assigned to the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, responsible for pilot training. The pilot who ejected was taken to a hospital and was reported to be in stable condition. Another F-35B that was flying alongside the missing jet returned safely to base.

The incident raised questions and criticism, including from lawmakers, regarding the disappearance of such a high-value aircraft. Mockery and skepticism emerged on social media platforms.

The F-35B is a stealth jet designed to operate undetected by enemy radar. If the aircraft was following pre-planned waypoints, its crash location might have been determined by its remaining fuel supply.

The investigation into this incident coincided with a two-day pause in air operations announced by the US Marine Corps to discuss aviation safety matters and best practices. This incident marked the third “Class-A mishap” in the past six weeks, a classification indicating incidents causing over $2.5 million in damages, though details about prior occurrences were not disclosed.

In a previous 2018 incident, the entire fleet of F-35 jets was temporarily grounded by the US military following a crash in South Carolina.

Also read: Tragic Plane Crash Claims 14 Lives in the Brazilian Amazon (Brazilian Plane Crash)

1 thought on “F-35B Fighter Jet Pilot Ejects: Wreckage Found After Mysterious Disappearance”

Leave a Comment