US military officials have appealed to the public for help to find a fighter jet after losing track of it somewhere over South Carolina when the pilot ejected.
A Marine Corps pilot safely escaped the F-35B Lightning II jet over North Charleston on Sunday afternoon after a “mishap”, military officials said, and the search for his missing aircraft was now focused on two lakes north of North Charleston.
The pilot parachuted safely into North Charleston at about 2pm and was taken to a local hospital, where he was in stable condition, said Maj Melanie Salinas. The pilot’s name has not been released.
A US military facility, Joint Base Charleston, made the appeal in a post on its verified X account formerly known as Twitter.
They said, “We’re working with @MCASBeaufortSC (Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort) to locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap this afternoon. The pilot ejected safely. If you have any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35, please call the Base Defense Operations Center at 843-963-3600.”
According to the statement, the search is focused north of JB Charleston, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion based on the jet’s last-known position. The search is being carried out with federal aviation regulators.
The F-35 is reportedly one of the largest and most expensive weapons programme of its type in the world.