The US military is asking for the public’s help to locate a missing F-35 fighter jet that disappeared over South Carolina on Sunday afternoon. The jet, a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, was part of the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 based in Beaufort, South Carolina.
The pilot of the jet ejected safely over North Charleston at about 2 pm local time and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was in stable condition. The pilot’s name has not been released yet. The cause of the mishap is still under investigation.
The search for the missing jet is focused on two lakes north of North Charleston, Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, based on the jet’s last-known position and trajectory. A South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter joined the search effort after some bad weather cleared in the area.
Joint Base Charleston, which is coordinating the search with Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, urged anyone with information about the jet’s whereabouts to contact its Base Defense Operations Center at 843-963-3600. The base also asked the public to cooperate with military and civilian authorities as the search continues.
The F-35 Lightning II is a stealthy, multi-role fighter jet that can perform various missions, such as air-to-air combat, air-to-ground strike, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It is considered one of the most advanced and expensive military aircraft in the world.