US military asks for public help in finding lost F-35 jet, after pilot ejected

September 19, 2023 at 08:24

US military asks for public help in finding lost F-35 jet, after pilot ejected

Iran Press TV

Monday, 18 September 2023 9:35 AM

In an unusual call, the US military has asked the public to help it locate a missing multimillion-dollar stealth jet after losing track of it somewhere over South Carolina.

After what authorities described as a "mishap," a US pilot flying an $80m F-35 jet over the southern state of South Carolina on Sunday afternoon ejected from the craft.

The unnamed Marine Corps pilot of the jet managed to parachute safely into North Charleston at about 2 p.m. and was taken to a local hospital, Maj Melanie Salinas a US military official, said.

The search for the F-35 Lightning II jet was focused on Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion north of the city of Charleston, where the jet could have possibly crashed, according to the local Joint Base Charleston.

The loss of the jet prompted the brass at the Joint Base Charleston to ask for help from local residents to give them their assistance in finding the expensive aircraft.

"If you have any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35, please call the Base Defense Operations Center," a post from the base read on X, formerly Twitter.

Following the appeal to the public, local congresswoman Nancy Mace lashed out at military authorities saying "How in the hell do you lose an F-35? How is there not a tracking device and we're asking the public to what, find a jet and turn it in?"

Authorities said officials are still investigating why the pilot ejected. A second F-35 returned safely to Joint Base Charleston.

The planes and pilots were with the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 based in Beaufort, not far from South Carolina's Atlantic coast.

However, two pilots were killed when their planes crashed upon landing at an air racing event in Nevada.

The planes collided at the conclusion of the T-6 Gold race during the final day of the National Championship Air Races in Reno, authorities said Sunday.

The names of the pilots who died weren't immediately released. Other details including the cause of the accident were not immediately available.

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