The U.S. military’s state-of-the-art F-35 jet has seemingly evaded its own team after a mishap led the pilot to eject over South Carolina. Authorities are now reaching out to the public for help in locating the elusive aircraft.
Following an undisclosed incident on Sunday afternoon, an F-35B Lightning II jet disappeared somewhere over South Carolina. Thankfully, the pilot managed to eject safely and is currently in stable condition at a nearby medical center, as per a Facebook announcement by Joint Base Charleston at 5:35 p.m. ET.
The specifics of the incident and the pilot’s current condition were yet to be detailed as of Monday morning. The Guardian revealed that both the U.S. Air Force and Joint Base Charleston hadn’t responded to their queries.
Urging the public to collaborate in this unusual search, Joint Base Charleston provided a contact number, 843-963-3600, for anyone with potentially helpful information. Their search is primarily centered north of the base in the Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion regions, in sync with the jet’s last reported position and the Federal Aviation Administration’s data.
This baffling disappearance sparked concerns, with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) voicing her incredulity on social media, questioning the apparent lack of tracking for such a sophisticated aircraft.
Jeremy Huggins, a Joint Base Charleston representative, confirmed to The Washington Post that the jet’s standard tracking transponder wasn’t functioning for yet unknown reasons. He emphasized the jet’s advanced stealth features, which make it challenging to detect, as potential reasons for the difficulty in locating it.
Lockheed Martin, the aerospace powerhouse behind the F-35 series, boasts it as the globe’s “Most Advanced Fighter Jet,” highlighting its unparalleled stealth, lethality, and survivability attributes. The F-35 family includes three models, with the F-35B variant capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings.”