Wreckage from an F-35 fighter jet that went missing a day earlier near Charleston, South Carolina was found in a debris field and identified Monday.
After a The F-35 fighter jet disappeared In the skies over South Carolina, officials found its debris field and began an investigation into the “accident” that forced its pilot to eject, according to a U.S. Marine Corps and security official with knowledge of the search.
The The pilot ejected Sunday near Charleston and was taken to a local medical facility in stable condition, Joint Base Charleston said. But the fighter jet disappeared.
The jet’s debris field — about two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston — was found Monday after an extensive, multi-agency search from both the ground and the air.
The F-35B Lightning II jet has been described as “the world’s most lethal, survivable and connected fighter jet”. Lockheed Martin.
The cost of the jet is about $100 million, said Russell Gomery, a spokesman for the F-35 Joint Program Office.
The entire F-35 program is on track Cost $1.7 trillion Throughout the life of the aircraft.
It was unclear what prompted the plane to be evacuated on Sunday.
“The accident is currently under investigation and we are unable to provide additional details to protect the integrity of the investigation process,” the Marines said in a statement on Monday.
Before the debris field was discovered, the military made an unusual plea to the public to help locate the F-35 jet, which it said was last known to be near Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, northwest of Charleston.
Community members are now being asked to stay away from the remains of a fighter jet while rescue crews work to protect a debris field in Williamsburg County.
“This evening we are transferring incident command to the USMC as they begin the recovery process,” Joint Base Charleston posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
This is not the first significant incident involving military aircraft in recent weeks.
Ordered by the Marine Corps Two-day suspension of flight operations Monday, citing three “Class-A plane crashes” in the past six weeks.
“This stance is being taken to ensure that the service maintains an operational standard of combat-ready aircraft with well-prepared pilots and crew,” the Marine Corps said in a news release.
Although the Marine Corps’ report did not detail the other two accidents, there were two aviation incidents in August.
A pilot was killed on August 24 A Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet crashes Near San Diego. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
Days later, A A Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey crashed During a military exercise in Australia, three US Marines were killed and five others are in critical condition. The accident is also under investigation.
Although there is no connection between the accidents, all incidents are classified by the Marine Corps as Class-A accidents — those that result in one death or more than $2.5 million in property damage.